Nigeria-Bound Air France Passengers Arrive Abuja After Three-Day Diversion in Chad

Nigeria-Bound Air France Passengers Arrive Abuja After Three-Day Diversion in Chad

Sixty-one Nigerian passengers on an Air France flight from Paris to Abuja have arrived safely in Abuja after three days spent in transit in N’Djamena, Chad, following a stopover induced by terrible weather. 

This follows the intervention of the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The passengers, including former Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Professor Joy Ezeilo, were delayed in Chad after their flight was diverted due to severe weather.

Professor Ezeilo, who put out a series of posts on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, alerting the public of their plight noted that some passengers with urgent business needs chartered a flight for over $20,000 to reach Abuja.

However, she tweeted later on Sunday that she had arrived in Nigeria. The tweet read, “I want to express my gratitude for everyone’s support and solidarity. I am pleased to let you know that I was one of the first passengers brought back to Abuja last night at 9:21 p.m. by Air France. I left the airport well after 11 p.m., as I was waiting for my luggage and had to report it as delayed or missing officially.

“Notably, the remaining passengers will return this morning according to the Air France schedule and, hopefully, our luggage.”

Ezeilo then later made another post on X on Monday, saying, “Thankfully, all stranded Nigerian-bound passengers are now safely back in Abuja.”

Keyamo, on Saturday, had issued a directive for immediate intervention after learning about the passengers. Keyamo posted on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, stating, “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 Air France NG to immediately issue a statement on the fate of those Nigerians.”

Tunde Moshood, Keyamo’s spokesman, had confirmed to ARISE news that he spoke with the French Embassy’s Political Attache, Martin Folliasson, who assured that Air France had taken immediate measures to ensure the passengers’ comfort. 

“All affected passengers have been accommodated in a nearby hotel with all necessary amenities, and continuous assistance is being provided,” Moshood had said.

Thankfully, all Nigeria -bound passengers have now returned safely to Abuja.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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