UK Airlifts 185 British Nationals through Abuja Airport
United Kingdom yesterday airlifted 185 nationals from Nigeria through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja , a situation that was necessitated by the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
The 185 British national were evacuated on board a British Airways flight BA9154, Boeing 747 aircraft with registration number G-CIVO.
The aircraft arrived Abuja Airport at 1.53pm with 13 crew members and departed at 3.44 pm .
Yesterday’s evacuation, the British High Commission said brings to over 1,100 of her national that have been evacuated from Nigeria since the restrictions on international flights was enforced to prevent the spread of Coronavirus
Meanwhile, another batch of British nationals will be airlifted to Britain using the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA),Lagos on Friday 1 and Tuesday 5 May,2020.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, will join the facilitation team at Abuja Airport to support British nationals returning to the UK. While the Deputy British High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson, will join colleagues to support passengers in Lagos.
Speaking at Abuja Airport, the High Commissioner said, “I am again here at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport today to see off British visitors who were stranded here when the airports closed. I am delighted to be able to wave-off more flights from Nigeria returning stranded British nationals back to the UK. I’m very grateful to all the thousands of British travellers who have contacted us over the last few days for their patience and support to help us get to this moment.
“My team in the British High Commission in Abuja and the Deputy High Commission in Lagos has been working around the clock to secure these flights. I am delighted to see so many more people excited to return home to their families and friends.”
Speaking further, he said, “I want offer a huge thank you to the Nigerian government for their support and assistance in arranging these flights. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Aviation, the FCT and Lagos State authorities have been incredibly helpful and accommodating throughout this process. We are continuing to work the Nigerian authorities and the airlines to secure further flights, which will help the many other British nationals who also wish to return home get there. The strong cooperation we have had from our Nigerian partners demonstrates very tangibly the strong bonds between our two countries.
A further two flights will depart from Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on Friday 1 and Tuesday 5 May. All flights are bound for London Heathrow Term.”