Nigerian airline resumes flight to SA

2012-03-03 22:55

Lagos - Nigeria's Arik Air said it would resume daily flights to Johannesburg, just 24 hours after suspending them in protest over Pretoria's refusal to let in 125 Nigerians on health grounds.

A statement said: "Arik Air is reinstating flight operations between Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa effective immediately with Saturday's scheduled service departing from Lagos."

Arik earlier said it had suspended flights between Lagos and Johannesburg, Africa's two financial hubs, due to a dispute with health authorities over yellow fever vaccination cards presented at OR Tambo International Airport by passengers.

The airline said a meeting between the two governments over the dispute was scheduled for Monday.

Passengers who have new yellow fever vaccination cards issued in Nigeria or are travelling to South Africa for the first time will not be allowed to board on Saturday's and Sunday's flights to Johannesburg, it added.

Arik, the only Nigerian-owned commercial airline on the lucrative Lagos-Johannesburg route, said 50 passengers were refused entry on Friday while ThisDay newspaper said that 75 other Nigerian passengers on South Africa Airways were also turned back.

"Many passengers have been detained and refused entry in recent months," the airline said in an earlier statement.

It said health authorities gave the reason as incorrect or unrecognised batch numbers on the documentation which is mandatory proof before entry.

Arik, which began once-daily flights to South Africa in June 2009, currently operated a combined number of more than 120 daily flights to some west African countries, Heathrow (London), New York JFK (US) and Johannesburg.

  • Sean - 2012-03-03 23:32

    Are the certificates fake? Nigerians always seem to be in the thick of things when it comes to passports, licenses etc. Why is that?

      Jonathon - 2012-03-05 08:28

      Nooooo let them stay on strike lol!!! :-)

  • David - 2012-03-04 13:28

    I work in Nigeria and travel there every 10 weeks. It really would not surprise me if the Yellow Fever Certificates were falsified. The people are mired in corruption and see South Africa as a soft target. Wish I didn't have to go there but..... I am white so can't find a job in SA. Nigerian legitimate businesses love employing South Africans because they can trust us. Crazy world isn't it.

      The2ndBookofRuth - 2012-03-04 21:29

      If Nigerians are so mired in corruption, why bother taking a job where corruption is rife? You feed from there, Nigerians pay your bills, but yet they are corrupt. Do you ever think of the luxury apartments in Ikoyi that you live in? The live-in maids? nannies? The golf country clubs you are able to go to in Nigeria just because you work there? Yet, the society is so corrupt and yet you are so high and mighty and saintly that you dare bite the hands that feed you. If I knew who you were, I would contact your place of work for them to relieve you of your job, since Nigerians are so terrible and so corrupt. Generalise and group them all, why don't ya!

      Jonathon - 2012-03-05 08:34

      @ The2ndBookofRuth..... Are you both blind and stupid??? Corruption in Nigeria is massive. Yes there are some really awesome people from there but it is so entrenched you can barely get anywhere without bribing people. Their top notch feed the hands that benefit them so don't critisize this gent for going over there to do his job when its their own government destroying their own peoples lives.

      amaka007 - 2012-03-06 15:43

      Hi Dave...did u say u work in Nigeria?..u shouldn't really make such unedited comments about your place of work...

      Sandy - 2012-03-08 09:21

      I must agree with you. We lived there for 7 years and the corruption never changed.It has nothing to do with biting the hand that feeds you, it is statting a truth how ever much that hurts to hear.

      Ross - 2012-03-16 22:38

      @David, I'm not sure which Nigeria you're referring to. The truth is that there is a clampdown in Nigeria on hiring half baked graduates from South Africa over better qualified Nigerians, with the work rate of mid level South African management reputedly very shoddy. By the way, since you're white, shouldn't you be somewhere in Europe where you really come from? The only reason you're in Africa is that your progenitors were violent looters and rogues.

  • Agba-Akin - 2012-03-06 15:41

    We all need rememeber one thing for sure.... The same Yellow fever certifcate are used to process VISA, why did the S. Africa Embassy issued Visa with a fake Certifcate and deport the people after buying tickets and paying for the VISA APPLICATION..........Its Unfair and i heard Nigeria Govt also deported 28 South Africa Yesterday.... Is that ow we can grow Africa as whole?

  • ndiana.matthew - 2012-03-08 15:10

    Talk is cheap people, I don't need to waste words, ur SA govt knows better than to harass and deport Nigerians becos of flimsy excuses. Nigeria has not recorded a single yellow fever incidence since 1995 when it recorded about 20, so the talk of yellow fever Belt is a silly excuse for containing Nigerians while SA citizens are welcome with incomplete documentation and assisted.We'll soon ask SA citizens to carry Tuberculosis cards& HIV in return. Nigeria is a sovereign state and it's citizens must not be stereotyped!

  • buway1 - 2012-03-08 18:57

    Ha..ha....Why did U apologize? RETARDED clueless South Africans.Bunch of Xenophobic nitwits. I trust those Nigerians.They WILL treat Ur F^*K ups INSTANTLY.SA has always and will ALWAYS be a BITCH 4 Nigeria.SA should get ready to bend over a lot more often and receive whatever 9ja gives them.Their permanent position is bent over and holding the kitchen table...

  • Senzo - 2012-03-09 18:29

    Let the Nigerians stay in Nigeria and continue with their corruptions...this not Xenophobia

      Ross - 2012-03-16 22:47

      @SENZO, and let the South Africans in Nigeria plus the 300 South African companies making profits and probably employing your dumb self, promptly be kicked back to your AIDS INFESTED country.

      Ross - 2012-03-16 22:48

      Two can play that game.

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