The Nigerian Government on Monday announced that it had impounded an aircraft owned by a British company, Flairjet, for violating the ban on all commercial flights operations.
Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who disclosed this while speaking at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, saids the pilots of the impounded aircraft would remain in isolation for 14 days.
Sirika also apologized for referring to the British airline involved as Flairjet as against Flair Aviation that he tweeted on Sunday. He said:
“There is a company called Flairjet. I want to apologise that I tweeted in the afternoon (on Sunday) when the fasting was biting harder and we verified this as Flair Aviation. The correct name is Flairjet and it is a UK registered company.
“They have an aircraft, Legacy 600, and the registration number of the aircraft is GPRFX. Their business address is Business Aviation Centre, Terminal Road, Birmingham International Airport, West Midlands and their code is B26QN.
“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.”
KanyiDaily had reported that Nigeria closed down its commercial airports, while it fights to control spread of the dreaded coronavirus which has spread to 34 of its 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, with Lagos, the country’s commercial city, maintaining the epicentre.