By Chinedu Eze
Nigeria’s major carrier, Air Peace has evacuated 301 Chinese from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, China’s most populous, commercial city.
The evacuation which was arranged by the Chinese Government took off about 10:00p.m. Nigerian time and arrived at about 1:15p.m. Nigerian time yesterday.
The Nigeria carrier was also the airline that evacuated Israelis living in Nigeria late March and has been contacted by other countries for evacuation operations.
Spokesman of the airline, Stanley Olisa, confirmed the successful flight and said Air Peace operated its second flight to China as “we evacuated 301 Chinese nationals back to their country. The flight departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos at exactly 22:05hrs to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, China. Countries have been contacting us to evacuate their citizens.”
Air Peace said it deployed its Boeing 777 aircraft with the registration number 5N-BWI for the evacuation exercise.
The Regional Airport Manager, South West, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Victoria Shin-Aba, said the flight: P47807 pushed back from the Echo terminal of MMIA at 21:40hrs with 325 souls onboard – 301 Chinese evacuees and 24 crewmembers.
She explained that all relevant government agencies like FAAN, Nigeria Immigration Service, Port Health Services officials and others were on ground to ensure success of the evacuation exercise.
Air Peace is slated to carry out more evacuation operations for other nationals living in Nigeria, as the airline and other domestic operators gear up to resume scheduled flight operations soon.
Meanwhile, UK government evacuated another batch of its citizens from Nigeria yesterday, airlifting about 307 passengers to Heathrow Airport, London from MMIA.
The flight was operated by Virgin Atlantic Airways with flight registration number, G-VPOP and according to FAAN, the flight took off at about 4:26p.m. Nigerian time.
UK statement earlier indicated that there would be three evacuations of its citizens from Nigeria from May 29, 2020 to June 1, 2020.