…As Israel achieves second direct flight from Nigeria***
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, has said that 590 stranded Nigerians have been successfully evacuated from the United Kingdom (UK) and are expected to arrive Abuja and Lagos on Tuesday.
Onyeama disclosed this in his twitter handle @GeoffreyOnyeama, on Tuesday, as he gave an update on the evacuation process, confirming the evacuation of 305 other Nigerians from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), via @Emirate Airline.
The evacuees from Dubai are reported to have arrived in the country through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
“590 Nigerian evacuees have departed Gatwick North Terminal, #UK on Air Partner UK.
“261 passengers departed at 1.00 p.m for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, while 329 passengers departed at 1.30 p.m for Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
“All evacuees will then proceed on the 14-day self-isolation,” Onyeama twitted.
Onyeama also gave an update on the fifth evacuation of Nigerians stranded in the United States in a statement signed by the Consulate General of Nigeria in Atlanta, United States.
According to the statement, Ethiopian Airline Flight Number ET 507, will depart George Bush International Airport, Houston, Texas on Friday, July 31, 2020 at 4:00pm.
It stated that the flight would be expected to arrive the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, on Saturday, August 1, 2020, at 8:00 pm.
“In this regard, all prospective evacuees duly registered with any of the three Nigerian missions in the USA can purchase their one-way tickets through www.ethiopianairlines.com.
“The airfare is USD 1,500 for economy class and USD 3,000 for business class for adult/child, including all taxes, with the usual percentage reduction for infants under two years,” the statement read.
In another development, the State of Israel on Tuesday recorded the second direct flight from Nigeria, which is described as another milestone in the 60 years of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Mr Yotam Kreiman, Deputy Chief of Mission, Israel to Nigeria said this in Abuja on Tuesday.
Kreiman said that 45-passengers that boarded the flight from Nigeria to Israel included Israelis, Nigerian diplomats and citizens on medical urgent matters.
“Forty-five Israelis and Nigerians are flying out of Nigeria, and on the plane returning, we have 75 passengers coming back to Nigeria including Nigerian diplomats returning home,” he said
According to him, the flight is put together through the help of the Chairman, Air-Peace, Allen Onyema and the Israeli companies in Nigeria.
Kreiman said: “For us, this is a special celebration; we are doing 60-years celebration of the relationship between Israel and Nigeria.
“What is unique about the second direct flight leaving today (Tuesday) from Lagos-Abuja to Tel-Aviv is that we are strengthening ties by creating more direct flights in the future.
“We hope to see all the direct flights coming up soon; where tourists, students, Christians and Muslims can come and visit Israel.
“And, they can go directly on the easy, cheaper and faster way; this is what it means to us,” he said.
He noted that a 16-year-old Nigerian student in need of special medical treatment in Israel for blood donation over brain problem was also on-board of the flight.
“The student’s family member was found as a suitable blood donor, therefore his inclusion in chattered flight by Israeli company, as a special guest to Israel, to save his life,” he said.
The first direct flight between the two countries involving 274 passengers was on April 2
Kreiman said that in spite of challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic, the Israel-Nigeria cooperation waxed stronger.
He noted that Israel, during the pandemic donated facemasks to doctors and nurses through a partnership with the Ministry of Health.
He added that palliative was also donated to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Mosques and orphanages in collaboration with ChabadAid.