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Air France abandons passengers including Nigerians in Paris for days



Air France

Air France abandons passengers including Nigerians in Paris for days. Passengers including hundreds of Nigerians on board Air France operated commercial Aircraft from France to Lagos and Abuja have since Wednesday been stranded at Charles De Gaulle International Airport, Paris.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that many of them have to sleep at the airport from Wednesday for a day or two days owing to what the management of Air France  claimed as malfunctioning of their planes and lack of aviation fuel.

Some of the passengers had left Lagos and Abuja for various destinations while many were returning to Lagos from various countries en route the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.

Air France, which said their planes could not fly, were scrambling for any available seats in other airlines in alliance with them to fly the passengers to their destinations.

Many of the passengers, who in their bookings had about three to five hours layover in Paris were left stranded spending 17 to 48 hours at the airport.

Some, who were lucky to get the seats in the allied airlines were re-routed and had to spend additional several hours to get to their destinations albeit after several hours of inconvenience.

Many of the passengers complained of ill treatment and alleged flouting of standard aviation regulatory operations by Air France.

More pathetic were the vulnerable passengers – the elderly, women with children and some with disability, who went through harrowing experiences.

Mrs Olagunju Ojo and Mrs Afolake Arikewuyo, who were in their late 70s said they left the U.S for Lagos en route Paris on Tuesday only to be left stranded at the airport.

The women, who could barely speak English and do not understand French, were in the long queue unassisted while struggling to get their cancelled flight to Lagos re-routed.

They said they arrived the airport 12 hours earlier only to be told by the the management of Air France that their flight to Lagos had been cancelled and there was no alternative arrangement for them.

Mrs Ojo, who spoke in Yoruba language, said: “We cannot go to Lagos today and there is no Schengen visa to take us outside the airport to sleep.

“They said we will sleep at the airport here and there is no way to communicate with my people waiting for me at the airport at home and those I left in the U.S,” she said.

Another passenger, Mrs Theresa Fashida, also an elderly woman, said she left Ireland for Lagos en route Paris and had been at the airport for eight hours struggling to see how her cancelled flight could be re-routed.

Fashida said the airline later succeeded in re-routing her flight through Nairobi, Kenya from where she would travel to Lagos with Kenyan Airways the following day.

“The flight from Paris to Nairobi is tomorrow, that means I have to sleep at this airport because there is no hotel accommodation provision for me and I do not have Schengen visa.

“I did not book Nairobi flight; I don’t know why they should make me to pass through these pains with my age.

“You can see, this is the only pack of food given to me since I arrived at this airport and even their airline officials are not friendly at all,” she said.

Some other Lagos bound passengers were rerouted to South Africa to fly South Africa Air from Johannesburg.

NAN reports that some of the passengers, who left Lagos for official engagement in Washington DC, were also left stranded at the Charles De Gaulle Airport.

The passengers, among whom were journalists, had departed Murtala Mohammed International Airport on Tuesday at about 11 p.m. aboard Airbus 340-800 Flight AF109 and arrived in Paris at about 6.30 a.m. Wednesday.

With a scheduled flight from Paris to Washington at 12.30 p.m. on Wednesday, they were supposed to have a layover of about six hours before departure.

However, at 3 p.m. after about eight hours of waiting at the departure hall, the airline officials announced a technical fault on the Airbus A380-800 Flight Number AF0054 prepared for the journey.

The operators announced that their team of engineers and other staff were working on the aircraft and also expected to overcome the challenge of fuel before take-off.

After several more hours of waiting at the lounge, the officials announced a cancellation of the fight at about 6 p.m. owing to the purported technical fault and shortage of aviation fuel.

They directed the passengers to a point for possible flight rescheduling which they said could not be able to accommodate the 500 passengers on board the botched flight.

At the flight rescheduling counter where passengers had converged, there were many Nigerians with series of complaints, with a few number of the airline staff to attend to them.

After hours of waiting, some of the Washington bound Nigerian passengers including the journalists were re-routed for Thursday flight through Heathrow London on board Virgin Atlantic operated Airbus 330-300.

The flight from Paris to Heathrow airport was scheduled for Thursday 7.30 a.m. while the Virgin Atlantic Washington bound flight was for 11 a.m. also Thursday.

All efforts to convince the Air France officials for an earlier flight to enable those scheduled for a conference to be held Thursday at 3.30 p.m. in Washington fell on deaf ears.

Confronted with the challenge of where to pass the night, the airline officials said without a valid Shenghen visa to take the passengers to hotels outside the airport, the option was to sleep at the airport.

Many of the passengers had to sleep on the floor and few available seats at the resting lounge of the airport and there was no provision for dinner for them.

At the lounge, Mr Niyi Oginni, who slept on the floor with his

Air France

Air France

wife, narrated his ordeal after spending 17 hours at the airport.


He said their Air France’s Abuja to Atlanta flight was delayed from Tuesday to Wednesday only to get to Paris and there was no connecting flight.

“Our stop over was supposed to be for five hours but we have spent 17 hours here waiting to connect a flight to Atlanta.

“You can see what they subject us to after paying so much, no food, no place to lay our heads.

“It is so embarrassing. I saw a woman also from Nigeria at the other lounge sleeping on bare floor with her four children,” he said.

Oginni said he had gone through the internet to find out redress option left for him and other passengers.

“The EU Complaint Form on Air Passenger Rights provides compensation in the event of overbooking and cancellations of flight and I am going to explore it.

“From what I read on the site,, passengers on cancelled flights are entitled to 250 Euro for all flights of 1500km or less.

“Passengers are also entitled to 400 Euros for all flights between 1500km and 3500km and 600 Euros for all other flights more than 3500km.

“Compensation shall be paid in cash, if the passengers accept; it can also be through travel voucher or others services.

“The right to assistance also app

lied for passengers on long delays, in meals, refreshment, hotel accommodation and free phone calls,” he quoted the site.

Oginni, who said he was going to file the report, enjoined other passengers who cannot go to court not to sleep on their rights.

Speaking in same vein, Solomon Chung, a Voice of Nigeria correspondent among the stranded journalists, said Nigeria was long overdue for a national carrier to protect her citizens from the recurrent embarrassment.

He said the news of the launch of a new national carrier; “Nigeria Air” in London by the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Serika was a welcome development.

On his part, Stanley Nwosu of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria said the inhuman treatment meted to the passengers was unacceptable.

“No provision for accommodation and no place to refresh. Since we arrived here, we were given only 11 Euro food vouchers which could only fetch you a burger and a bottle of water.

“For two nights, I can neither take my bath nor change my dresses, which are already in my checked in luggage, because I was not envisaging this delay.

“It is even more disheartening that we are going to miss the assignment we left Nigeria for, in Washington and there is no remorse from the airline,” he said.

As envisaged by many of the passengers, Air France, despite assurance, failed to send the luggage of the passengers on re-routed flights.

Meanwhile, attempts to get official response from the airline proved abortive as those approached said they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the organisation.





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Anambra Airport to Launch in April 2021



The governor of Anambra state, willie Obiano, during a visit to Sirika in Abuja, announced that the state’s cargo airport would be inaugurated in April 2021.

The Governor of Anambra state, Willie Obiano has  announced that the state’s cargo airport would be inaugurated in April 2021.

On the Anambra airport, Obiano said the facility would be set for inauguration in April 2021 and that the state would be honoured to have Sirika perform the task.

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Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari, has signed the instruments of ratification of the bilateral air service agreement between Nigeria and the united states of America, India, morocco and Rwanda.

Minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced this on Tuesday in a tweet via his official twitter handle.

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Air Peace Evacuates 312 Indian Citizens



312 Murtala Muhammed Airport Air peace Indian citizens

Air Peace Evacuates 312 Indian Citizens

Air Peace has evacuated 312 Indian citizens from the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos to Kochi in India. After evacuating 301 Chinese citizens on Thursday.

This is just as the government of India celebrated the first direct flight from Nigeria.

According to the verified twitter account of Indians in Nigeria, @india_nigeria, the “repatriation of India nationals from Nigeria began today (Sunday) with the Lagos-Kochi Air Peace flight with 312 passengers. It is the first ever Nigerian airline to fly directly to India.”

The Indians in Nigeria commended the Nigerian government, the Indian Embassy in Nigeria and others that made the flight a reality.


According to information from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Air Peace flight P47812 pushed back by 1:15 am Nigerian time with 312 passengers and 15 crew members and was airborne at 1:28 am.

Air Peace in a statement said that the 10-hour non-stop flight from Lagos to Kochi was operated with a B777 aircraft with registration number 5N-BWI.

The flight, operated by 15 crew members, the airline said was expected to arrive Cochin International Airport in Kerala.

The Chief Operating Officer of the airline, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olajide, who expressed delight over the evacuation flight, thanked the Indian authorities for engaging Air Peace to operate the flight, while also giving kudos to the Nigerian government for supporting the airline in all its special flights during the lockdown.

She added that the airline alongside other relevant government agencies ensured that all the passengers complied with established health protocols before boarding.

“It can be recalled that on Thursday, May 28, 2020, Air Peace embarked on an evacuation flight of 301 Chinese nationals and flew back 268 stranded Nigerians from China on Saturday,” the statement added.


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Air Peace evacuates 301 Chinese citizens from Nigeria



Lagos MMIA Air peace evacuated Chinese citizens

Air Peace evacuates 301 Chinese citizens from Nigeria

On Thursday night, AIR Peace evacuated Chinese citizens from Nigeria to China through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos at about 2205hrs.

The airline carried out the evacuation with its Boeing 777-300 with registration 5N-BWI which airlifted 301 passengers on board taking 24 crew members.

The Nigerian carrier evacuated the Chinese from Lagos to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, China’s most populous, commercial city.

The evacuation which was arranged by the Chinese government took off about 10: 00 pm Nigerian time and arrived at about 1:15 pm Nigerian time on Friday.

The Nigeria carrier was also the airline that evacuated Israelis living in Nigeria late March and has been contacted by other countries for evacuation operations.


Spokesman of the airline, Stanley Olisa confirmed the successful flight and said, Air Peace on Thursday, May 28, 2020, operated its second flight to China as “we evacuated 301 Chinese nationals back to their country. The flight departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos at exactly 22:05hrs to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, China. Countries have been contacting us to evacuate their citizens.”

The Regional Airport Manager, South West, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Victoria Shin-Aba said the flight: P47807 pushed back from the Echo terminal of MMIA at 21:40hrs with 325 souls onboard – 301 Chinese evacuees and 24 crew members.

She explained that all relevant government agencies like FAAN, Nigeria Immigration Service, Port Health Services officials and others were fully on ground to success of the evacuation exercise.

Air Peace is slated to carry out more evacuation operations for other nationals living in Nigeria, as the airline and other domestic operators gear up to resume scheduled flight operations soon.

There are indications that commercial flight operations would resume early June, as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has started auditing airlines in preparation for scheduled passenger service.



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