Nigeria impounds British plane for ‘flouting ban’

Nigerian government on Sunday announced that it has impounded a flight owned by a UK company being used to run commercial trips despite an existing travel ban.

“Flair Aviation, a UK company, was given approval for humanitarian operations but regrettably we caught them conducting commercial flights,” Nigeria’s aviation minister Hadi Sirika tweeted.

“The craft is impounded, (the) crew are being interrogated.”

Expressing disappointment in the order flouted by the UK aviation company, Sirika said the action was ‘callous’.

He disclosed that “there shall be maximum penalty” for the aviation company’s decision to run commercial flights in Nigeria and that it is a “wrong time to try our resolve.”

The Nigerian government in late March announced that all airports in the country will be closed to international flights to prevent further spread of coronavirus.

“Following the announcement of 10 new cases of COVID-19, Nigeria government announced the closure of all the country’s airports to all international flights as part of the measures to curb spread of the disease,” Nigerian government tweeted saying the measure will take effect from Monday, 23 March 2020.

After the expiration of the initial closure to international flights, the government through the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 extended the measure for another four weeks in May 2020.

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