No fewer than 585 American and Canadian citizens were yesterday airlifted from Lagos and Abuja. The evacuation was in response to requests by the nationals, who felt insecure staying in Nigeria despite the comparatively low prevalence of the coronavirus spread and attendant deaths.
Earlier move to evacuate the American citizens, majority of who had dual nationality, failed at the weekend as the operating chartered carrier was denied clearance by the authorities.
Two Ethiopian Airlines (ET) planes were, however, deployed yesterday to Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) to carry the passengers. An ET Boeing 767, with registration number ET-ALO, evacuated 137 Canadians from Lagos and another 63 from Abuja.
The aircraft left Abuja for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia en route Toronto, Canada. The Guardian learnt that each of the travellers paid out-of-pocket in excess of N1.45 million ($5000CAD).
Another Boeing 777-300 series aircraft also evacuated 385 American nationals from the Lagos airport. The aircraft took off at about 4.40pm for Washington DC.