Nigeria has impounded a British-registered jet after alleging the airline operated a commercial flight in contravention of of a government ban on all such flights due to COVID-19.
Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced on Sunday that a Flairjet Legacy 600 (based upon the Embrarer ERJ-135) had been caught ferrying passengers into Lagos, Nigeria. Flairjet is only allowed to transport “essential goods” including medical supplies and food.
“This company applied severally as to operate humanitarian flights and we did approve. It is very clear at the beginning of this exercise that we defined what those flights should be: essential flights basically – cargo, medical evacuation, medical supplies, and so on and so forth.
“Unfortunately, this company decided to become commercial in their service, charging money and flying people in and out.
“In the first place, the whole essence of a lockdown is to ensure there is no movement of persons freely because this COVID-19 we are all spending sleepless nights for happened because somebody travelled abroad. So, we believe this shouldn’t happen.
“Current status, we are investigating the matter right now, it would finish very soon. The crew is British nationals. The pilots are subjected to 14 days quarantine at the moment while the investigation goes on. Whatever is there in our laws will be applied to the fullest.”
The aircraft is impounded, the pilots have been placed in a mandatory 14-day quarantine, and Flairjet now faces a huge fine.
Not to make jokes, but maybe the flight crew should have offered amenity kits to smooth things over?
> Read More – Transit in Lagos: Bribing My Way Out
image: Aleksandr Markin / Wikimedia Commons