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Coronavirus: Air France lands in Lagos, evacuates 260 nationals to Paris

Air France on Thursday afternoon airlifted 260 of French nationals to Paris via Lagos airport with the permission granted it by the Federal Government to operate essential flights to evacuate different nationals out of the country to Paris.

The aircraft which came in via Cotonou came in at 2.05pm and with the pre-boarding formalities completed, the nationals boarded the aircraft which took off at about 3.44pm Nigerian time.

The airline through its General Manager, in a letter sought permission for the airline to land in Lagos to evacuate Dutch and French citizens stuck in Nigeria after the closure of all the major international airports to international flights.

In a reply to the request, the Nigeria Government through the Ministry of Aviation granted the permission for the Air France/KLM flight to operate on the platform of essential flights.

The Ministry of Aviation in a letter signed by the Director, Air Transport Management, for the Minister of Aviation, says the airline must operate strictly based on the protocol guiding this kind of operation under the COVID-19 as issued by the Nigerian Aeronautical Authorities.

The request by the airline is to commence the evacuation of the nationals from 26th March, 2nd April and 9th April, 2020.

According to Victoria Shinaba, the airport manager,  “We have one or two flights that will be coming in to pick their nationals, KLM is coming in today, there are three flights not only today, we have the approval, their crew are not even coming down, the crew will not come out at all.”

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