FG Approves Fifth Evacuation Flight for Stranded Nigerians in US

Geoffrey Onyeama

* 590 evacuees depart UK

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The federal government has announced that it has approved the fifth evacuation flight that would bring home stranded Nigerians in the United States.

This was coming as 590 Nigerian evacuees have departed Gatwick North Terminal, United Kingdom on Air Partner UK.

A statement that was issued by the Consulate General of Nigeria in Atlanta on Monday, which was made available to journalists yesterday, said that the Ethiopian Airline flight N0. 547, is scheduled to depart George Bush International Airport, Houston, Texas, on Friday by 16:00hrs to arrive Murtala Mohammad International Airport, Lagos, on Saturday by 20:00hrs

It stated: “The Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Atlanta. Georgia, in collaboration with other Nigeria Missions in the United States of America is pleased to announce that the Federal Government of Nigeria has approved 5th Evacuation flight for stranded Nigerians in the U.SA.

“In this regard, all prospective evacuees duly registered with any of the three Nigerian missions in the USA can purchase their one-way tickets through www.ethiopianairlines.com. The airfare is $1500 for the economy class and $3,000 for the business class for adult/child fare, including all taxes, with the usual percentage reduction for infants under two years.”

The consulate noted that prospective evacuees, who purchased tickets, should forward a copy of their evacuation ticket, together with the name, phone number and contact address of their next of kin in Nigeria to info@nigeria-Consulate-atl.org.

The Consulate emphasised that the sale of tickets would be on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

It demanded that all prospective evacuees must present an original COVID-19 negative test result, not older than 14 days on the day of departure at the Airport and undergo three temperature check 4hrs before departure in accordance with the Nigerian Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

It said: “Any intending evacuee without the stipulated test result or a body temperature above 38 degrees centigrade, or any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, will not be allowed to check in.”

The consulate noted that, all prospective evacuees are required to wear face masks while on board and be in possession of a hand sanitiser for intermittent use throughout the duration of the journey.

In addition, prospective evacuees were further enjoined to adhere strictly to all instructions of Port Health Services (PHS) officials and observe other entry screening protocols on arrival in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, yesterday said that 590 Nigerian evacuees have departed Gatwick North Terminal, UK, on Air Partner UK.

The minister, who tweeted from his verified Twitter handle, said that 261 passengers departed at 1.00 p.m. for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja while 329 passengers departed at 1.30 p.m. for Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

He said that all evacuees would proceed on the mandatory 14 days self-isolation.