JUST-IN: Air France ‘Abandons’ 61 Nigerian Passengers In Chad

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An Abuja-bound Air France flight has dropped off 61 Nigerian passengers in the neighbouring Chad and allegedly abandoned them in the country.

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, SAN, disclosed the development via his X handle (formerly Twitter) on Saturday evening.

The Minister said he had immediately directed the Consumer Protection Department of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to swing into action and engage Air France even as he urged the airline to quickly speak out on the fate of the Nigerian passengers.

In a video posted by Keyamo, the passengers, including a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Johnson Agbonayima, was heard lamenting their fate, saying they hoped the Nigerian authorities will quickly do something about it.

Keyamo wrote: “It has come to my attention that some Nigerians on an Air France flight from Paris to Abuja are presently stranded in Chad, from where the flight earlier dropped some passengers.

“I have immediately directed the Consumer Protection Department of NCAA to swing into action and engage Air France. We shall inform everyone of the outcome soon. Meanwhile, I urge @AirFranceNG to immediately issue a statement on the fate of those Nigerians.”

However, in an update provided by NCAA following the directive of the Aviation Minister, the Air France aircraft was said to have developed a fault owing to weatheric conditions.

Head of Consumer Protection Department of NCAA, Michael Achimugu, who also took to X to respond to Keyamo’s directive, said the affected 61 passengers have been accommodated in two hotels in Chad pending their airlift to Abuja.

Achimugu stated: “We have engaged the airline. Aircraft developed a tech due weather. All 61 passengers have been accommodated in two hotels and feeding is taken care of. Discussions are ongoing to ensure pax are flown in ASAP. Will provide further updates shortly.”

LEADERSHIP reports that just last week, Turkish Airlines left over 300 Nigerian passengers stranded at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, a development that infuriated the Federal Government of Nigeria, hence its intervention and subsequent airlift of the passengers to Istanbul.


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