The Nigerian Government has approved a request by Air France to fly its aircraft into Nigeria to evacuate European citizens following the outbreak and continued spread of Coronavirus in the country.
In a letter dated March 25, 2020 and addressed to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Air France asked to airlift Europeans from the country on March 26, April 2 and 9.
The letter reads, “Air France hereby submits its request to operate three essential flights on March 26, April 2 and 9, 2020 from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
“These flights will not disembark any passengers or crew. It is only designed to ensure European citizens return to their homes.”
Acknowledging and approving the request, Director, Air Transport Management in the Federal Ministry of Aviation, M.S Noibi, said, “I am directed to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated March 23, 2020 and to convey the Honourable Minister of Aviation approval for your airline to operate essential flights from Lagos to Paris.
“I am further directed to inform you to undertake the operation strictly based on the protocol guiding this operation under COVID-19 as issued by the Nigerian Aeronautical Authorities.”
As a result of the approval, Air France has started airlifting Europeans out of Nigeria as Coronavirus cases continue to be on the rise in the country.
At the moment, Nigeria has 97 confirmed cases of the pandemic and one recorded death.
However, foreign diplomats have warned of a significant rise in the number of infected persons to around 10,000 in the coming days especially going by the poor handling of the situation by the Nigerian Government.