The Federal Government said on Friday that it has arranged three more flights to evacuate Nigerians stranded in the United States (U.S.) because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ban on most regular international flights.
Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mr Ben Okoyen, said that the third and fourth special flights have been scheduled for July 17 and July 28.
Okoyen said both flights, operated by Ethiopian Airlines, would convey the evacuees from New Jersey to Abuja.
The fifth flight, operated also by the same Airlines, will airlift the passengers from Texas to Lagos on July 31, according to the Nigerian consulate in Atlanta.
So far, the government has evacuated 487 stranded Nigerians from the U.S. in two operations conducted on May 9 and July 3.
Meanwhile, the delayed flight from Canada has been rescheduled for July 18, according to a statement by the Nigeria High Commission there.
The Canada evacuation operation has been shifted twice due to the country’s inability to grant landing rights to Nigeria’s carrier, Air Peace.
The first flight, slated for May 14, was cancelled after authorities denied over-flight and landing permits to Air Peace, the Nigerian carrier chosen then.
The second attempt was fixed on July 10 but had to be delayed on request from the intending evacuees.
According to the Canadian High Mission, the requests followed their inability to get the required COVID-19 test results and book the flight on time.