- Amid the coronavirus outbreak, a chartered flight has evacuated 274 Israelis from Nigeria
- Sixty-five citizens of Israel were moved from Lagos while 209 were also evacuated from Abuja
- The flight departed the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos to Israel en route Abuja
Following the rise in the spread of the global pandemic called coronavirus, a chartered Air Peace flight has evacuated 274 Israel citizens from Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria to Tel-Aviv, Israel.
The airline on Sunday, March 29, from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos airlifted 70 Israelis evacuees with 17 crew members, according to Radio Nigeria.
The flight with registration number 5N-BWI was operated as an essential flight. The Boeing aircraft flight number P47877 departed the Lagos airport at 11.55 am to Isreal enroute Abuja.
In another report by Nigerian Tribune, Allen Onyema, the chairman of Air Peace, said the flight, which took off from Lagos proceeded to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja (NAIA) to transport another 209 Israelis.
Onyema who disclosed this information in a statement on Sunday, March 29, described the flight as historical, saying that this is the first time Nigeria would have a direct flight to Israel.
The chairman of Air Peace expressed hope that the two countries would subsequently have scheduled direct flights between Lagos and Tel-Aviv.
He said: “It is a historic day for both Nigeria and Israel. History has been made today; 60 years of diplomatic relations, no direct flight has been conducted between Nigeria and Israel till today. So, this is the first time Nigeria and Israel will have direct air connectivity."
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Earlier, Legit.ng reported that a chartered Air France flight evacuated 260 European citizens from Nigeria and additional 118 European citizens from other West African countries through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos on Thursday, March 26.
According to the report, the British High Commission is also exploring options for sending its staff, dependents and other Britons to the UK. The Air France flight was said to have landed in Lagos via Cotonou with 118 passengers on board at 3 p.m. local time.
Recall that the Nigerian government had also announced the closure of all land borders for four weeks as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.
The weekly federal executive council of the Buhari administration has also been suspended “until further notice,” according to an announcement by the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha.
Mustapha also doubles as the chairman of the presidential task force on COVID-19.
In other news, the federal government has evacuated a stranded team of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) who had been drafted to Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo, to undergo a special capacity building course with the World Health Organization (WHO).
The medical team, according to the Nigerian ambassador to the Republic of the Congo, Deborah Iliya, were on a training programme to expand their frontiers of knowledge as regards the management of coronavirus for their prompt deployment to the country.
She said that the medical team had been stranded following the closure of air and land borders by Congo Brazzaville in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.
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