Air Peace was denied landing permit by the UK
The Nigerian government will review all its existing bilateral air services agreement with all countries, including the United Kingdom, says Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Geoffery Onyema.
Onyema stated this on Sunday via his Twitter handle shortly after the announcement that the British authorities refused Nigerian carrier, Air Peace, landing permit to operate a repatriation flight scheduled to depart London Heathrow airport on Monday.
“Having been allowed to carry out one very successful evacuation of Nigerians from London at very low fares, @flyairpeace in coordination with the @NigeriaGov and full knowledge of the UK authorities scheduled two additional flights.
“All the arrangements were made including payments, only for the UK authorities to withdraw landing rights close to departure despite strong representations by the Nigerian Government including pointing out the hardship that would be caused to hundreds of Nigerian evacuees.
“Air Peace could have just refunded the passengers but exceptionally, patriotically and altruistically agreed to find an alternative carrier acceptable to the UK authorities to carry out the evacuation a day later than scheduled but for much higher fares.
“These higher fares could legitimately have been passed on to the evacuees but Air Peace bore this huge cost itself. This is to let the aggrieved evacuees know that the objects of their grievance should neither be Air Peace nor the Nigerian Government.
“They should rather be eternally grateful to Air Peace. The Nigerian Government will review its Air agreements with various countries as a result of the unacceptable treatment of Nigerian carriers during this pandemic,” Onyema said in his tweet.