UPDATE: Air France aircraft heading Lagos airport to evacuate nationals
• Plane expected to touch down by 2.00pm • Pilot/crew members not cleared to disembark from plane on landing
An empty KLM flight is being expected to land at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport from Amsterdam, Netherlands to evacuate some of its nationals stranded in Nigeria following the ban on international flights into the country based on the outbreak and spread of CORONAVIRUS around the world.
According to information gathered, barring any change in the arrangement, the KLM flight is expected to land at the Lagos airport by 2.00 pm today.
The special arrangement was said to have been made possible after the airline got approval from the Nigerian government to carry out the rescue flight operations.
Under the special arrangement, it has been agreed that the pilot and crew of the KLM flight will not be allowed to disembark while after the profiling, the nationals will be escorted to the waiting aircraft to board and depart.
The approval letter to carry out these flights which emanated from the Ministry of Aviation, dated March 24th, 2020, was signed by MR. M.S Naibi, Director, Air Transport Management on behalf of the Minister of aviation, and addressed to: The General Manager, Air France-KLM, Nigeria & Ghana, Sapetro Tower, Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos entitled: ‘Re: Request to operate essential flights on Air France from Lagos to Paris on 26th, March, 02, April and 09, April, 2020.
The three-paragraph letter partly read: “I am directed to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 23rd, March 2020 on the above subject and to convey the Minister of Aviation’s approval for your airline to operate Essential Flights from Lagos to Paris.
The letter quoted the flight number which is to originate from Cotonou but with no traffic right to be: COO0745 LOS 0820 and LOS 0950 CDG 162
The letter further read: “I am further directed to inform you to undertake the operation strictly based on the protocol guiding this kind of operation under COVID-19 as issued by the Nigerian Aeronautical Authorities, most especially the
All Operators Letter issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) with Ref: NCAA/DG/Air/11/16/108 dated 23rd March 2020. Please accept the assurances of the Honourable Minister’s warm regards.”
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