Air Peace Expands Regional Network, Begins Abidjan, Cotonou Flights Jan 22

Saudi’s Cancellation Of Air Peace Passengers’ Visas Is Aeropolitics – Expert Reacts, FG Investigates

8 months ago
1 min read

Following Saudi authority’s denial of entry to 264 Nigerian citizens aboard an Air Peace airplane, the Nigerian government says it is now investigating the cancellation of visas of all the passengers, who were airlifted to Jeddah from Lagos and Kano on Sunday by the Saudi Arabian government.

The passengers and airline personnel got the shock of their lives over the cancellation of their visas because, during check-in, they went through the Advanced Passengers Prescreening System (APPS), which was also monitored by the Saudi Arabian authorities before the flight took off from Nigeria.

The Chief Executive Officer, Centurion Aviation Security and Safety Consult, Group Captain John Ojikutu described the development as an apparent case of aeropolitics and diplomacy from Saudi Arabia, aimed at forcing the Nigerian airliner out of the route.

He stated that the cancellation of the passengers’ visas on arrival makes it pertinent for the Federal Government to stand strongly with any Nigerian carrier designated to operate international destinations, recommending the United States model where there is no national carrier but all the airlines are supported by the government and designated as flag carriers.

READ ALSO: Air Peace Set To Increase Flight Frequencies As Christmas Season Approaches

“The action of the Saudi authorities is shocking. There is aero politics there and there is also diplomacy. There is a need for the Nigerian government to stand firmly with Nigerian carriers and also designate them as flag carriers; so that other countries will know that they represent Nigeria.

“Government must come out and intervene. The government must be behind Air Peace now to ensure it is not denied its rights as contained in the Bilateral Air Service Agreement, BASA, between the two countries.

‘’The Ministry of Foreign Affairs must not keep quiet. Nigeria must not keep quiet. Ideally, government is expected to stand behind any of the country’s airlines it designates to fly overseas,” Ojikutu said and called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to immediately intervene in the diplomatic impasse.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, says the Ministry is now investigating the matter to see if any consular or aviation rules had been flouted.

A statement issued by Alkasim Abdulkadir, a media aide to the Minister, reads, “Nigeria has just participated in the Saudi-Africa Summit where bilateral discussions covering several sectors of the economy and mutually beneficial commitments were made.

“The Ministry will ensure such actions that impact the welfare of Nigerian citizens are mitigated in the future in line with the 4 Ds strategy of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” the statement added.


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