Air Peace contracts British carrier to undertake the evacuation
Nigerians stranded in the UK due to the COVID-19 pandemic may not be able to return to Nigeria as planned.
This is because the UK authorities have denied the Nigerian airline, Air Peace which had been tasked with the evacuation, landing permit.
The evacuation flight, which was earlier scheduled to depart London Heathrow airport on Monday, is now billed for Gatwick airport on Tuesday, and instead of Air Peace, British carrier Air Partner will now undertake the evacuation, according to a statement by Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs ministry issued on Sunday evening.
The statement said following the refusal of the UK to grant diplomatic landing clearance to Air Peace, the Nigerian government appealed to the airline to engage the services of an alternative airline to airlift the stranded citizens instead of refunding their payments, hence the use of Air Partner, one of the Global Air Charter companies advised by the British authorities.
“It is pertinent to note that Air Peace gracefully contracted Air Partner to operate these charter flights on its behalf at a much higher cost than the ticket fares paid by the prospective evacuees.
“In the light of the foregoing, the Federal Government wishes to extend its appreciation to the chairman and management of Air Peace Limited for their commitments and patriotism in ensuring that our stranded nationals in the United Kingdom return home safely,” the statement read.