Home » Nigerian government, Air Peace in shock after Saudi Arabia cancels visas of 264 pilgrims

Nigerian government, Air Peace in shock after Saudi Arabia cancels visas of 264 pilgrims

by Olu Jones

The Nigerian government and the country’s biggest carrier, Air Peace have been thrown into shock after the Saudi Arabian authorities cancelled visas for all 264 pilgrims onboard an Air Peace plane on arrival in Saudi Arabia.

The 264 passengers were airlifted to Jeddah from Lagos and Kano on Sunday.

The authorities insisted that the airline should return them back to Nigeria.

The flight took off from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos via the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano on Sunday night and landed at King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

But to the consternation of the airline staff, the Saudi Arabian authorities announced that all the passengers’ visas had been cancelled.

This was despite the fact that the passengers went through the Advanced Passengers Information System (APIS) during the check-in formalities in Nigeria which was also monitored by the Saudi authorities.

Air Peace had two weeks ago launched a direct flight to Jeddah which has been recording high load factor.

A source who confirmed the development said, “The screening of passengers from the MMIA and Kano Airport was thorough and there was no issue with the visas. These were people who were duly issued the visa and they passed through the advanced passenger information system which is accessible to both authorities in Lagos and Jeddah. We are surprised because this cancellation was announced when the flight already landed.

“We are suspecting this is a strategy to frustrate the Nigerian carrier out of the route, some people are definitely not happy with the option Air Peace is providing, the direct flight to Jeddah as against using another foreign airline which attracts higher fares.”

It was learnt that, it was when the Nigerian embassy waded in that Saudi authorities reduced the number of passengers that would be returned to 177 from 264.

As of the time of filing this report, the Airline was on its way to Nigeria with the 177 passengers that were denied entry; majority of them going to perform lesser Hajj (Umrah).

The Nigerian government and Air Peace are yet to issue official statement on the matter.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

The Nigerian Economy

The Economy is an online newspaper focusing on delivery of top-notch economic, financial and business intelligence reports for economic development. It is published by Samhapp Integrated Services Ltd., 1, Ojogiwa Street (1st floor) Off Idumagbo Avenue, Lagos Island, Lagos State, Nigeria,  West Africa



Copyright 2023 © The Economy . All Right Reserved. Developed by Jaflah!