FG Approves 7th Evacuation Flight for Stranded Nigerians in US


Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The federal government has approved the seventh evacuation flight for stranded Nigerians from the United States.

The Consulate General of Nigeria in US, in a statement dated July 29 but made available to journalists Thursday, said the flight is scheduled to depart George Bush International Airport, Houston, Texas on Saturday, 15th August, 2020 by 15:00hrs and would arrive Abuja on 16th August, 2020 at 09:00 am.

It added that the flight would thereafter arrive Murtala Mohammad lnternational Airport, Lagos on the same day at 11:00 a.m.

The Consulate said all prospective evacuees duly registered with any of the the three Nigerian Missions in the USA can purchase their one-way tickets through www.Ethopianairlines.com.

It noted that the fare is $1,500 for Economy class and $3,000 for Business Class for adult/child, including all taxes, with the usual percentage reduction for infants under two years.

The Consulate stressed 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 to info@Nigerian-Consulate-atl-org.

It noted that the sale of tickets would be done on a first come, first served basis.

The Consulate stated that in accordance with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, all prospective evacuees must present the original copy of a Covld-19 negative test result, not older than 14 days on the day of departure and preferably not less than five days on the day of departure.

It said that the evacuees would also undergo a temperature check five hours before departure, adding that any intending evacuee without the stipulated test result or a body temperature above 38 degrees centigrade or any symptoms suggestive of Covid-19, would not be allowed to check in.

The Consulate emphasised that while on board, prospective evacuees are required to wear masks, use hand sanitizers throughout the journey and strictly adhere to all instructions of Port Health Services (PHS) officials and observe other entry screening protocols on arrival ib Nigeria.

Meanwhile, 256 Nigerians have been evacuated from Morocco and Niger Republic between Wednesday and Thursday.

The flight from Morocco departed at about 9 am with 98 Nigerians on board of the Royal Air Maroc and expected to arrive the country later Thursday, 30th July, 2020.

The Morocco returnees are mainly professionals and students from various institutions.

Out of this figure, 98 Nigerians were evacuated from Morocco and are expected back home Thursday, while 158 from Niger Republic had arrived the country Wednesday night.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “A Royal Air Maroc (RAM) B737 -800 series aircraft conveying 98 Nigerians has departed King Mohammed V Airport, Casablanca to Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja.

“The aircraft which left at 0900 hrs is conveying professionals and students from various institutions stranded in the Kingdom of Morocco since March due to international air travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The flight which is also conveying 35 Nigeriens will make a brief stopover at the Diori Hamani International Airport, Niamey before proceeding to Abuja, to land at 13.30 hrs.”

Similarly, another batch of 158 stranded Nigerian migrants arrived the country from Niamey, Niger Republic at about 10pm on Wednesday.

The flight arrived Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja at about 10.00 pm via Airpeace.

The flight was arranged by EU, IOM in collaboration with the Nigeria Mission.