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COVID-19: FAAN confirms evacuation of 1,739 foreigners from Nigeria

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said Tuesday at least 1,739 foreigners had been evacuated from Nigeria through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, since the evacuation exercise began about 10 days ago.

The Regional Manager, South-West Airport of FAAN, Mrs. Victoria Shin-Aba, disclosed this to journalists in Lagos.

According to Shin-Aba, since the evacuation exercise commenced with the transportation of French and European citizens by Air France late last month, several airlines, including two Nigerian carriers have participated in the movement of foreign nationals out of the country.

She said: “Delta Airlines from the United States (today) on Tuesday afternoon evacuated 200 Americans at the airport in continuation of the exercise.”

The FAAN official revealed that Air France had evacuated 399 French and other European nationals; Lufthansa- 238, six Air Peace crew; Middle East Airline (MEA) 140; Ethiopian Airlines- 148, 137 (Canadians), 375 (U.S); Jed Air- nine (Liberians and crew); Air Peace- 87 and Delta with 200 Americans.

She said that the evacuation exercise had been going on without hitches.

Shin-Aba said FAAN, in collaboration with other agencies, would continue to carry out its duties with utmost caution and professionalism.

She added: “So far, the activities have been okay and well-coordinated. Since the closure of the airport, we have had about 10 evacuations with different nationals.

“We have had from Air France-KLM, Lufthansa, Middle East Airline (MEA) with the Lebanese; Ethiopian Airlines has been on with Americans and Canadians.

“The conditions are that you have to get an approval from the Federal Ministry of Aviation, when the ministry gives the approval, it is sent to FAAN, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“Then, we send the approval to all the security agencies too. Most importantly, there is a procedure in place for the COVID-19 pandemic, which has to be followed.

“For instance, Port Health Service has to check everyone that is going out, at times, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) will be on the ground.

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“Even, to access the terminal, there is checking by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and others. It has been smooth sailing.

“Though, we had a cancellation some few days ago, but that was not due to anybody’s fault. It was due to the logistics of the flight plan.”

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