Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, today made a clarification on the UK aircraft that was impounded for violation of the travel ban in Nigeria.
Recall that the Minister on Sunday May 17, via his Twitter handle, announced that a UK flight was impounded for operating a commercial flight as against the Humanitarian operation it was given approval to operate in Nigeria. The Minister had mentioned that the erring flight was Flair Aviation.
However at the press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the Minister said the erring flight is FlairJet and not Flair Aviation as he earlier stated. He also disclosed that the pilots of the flights have been quarantined.
”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 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, Flairjet (mistakenly referred to as Flair Aviation) 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 what 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.” he said