Nigeria's Arik Air halts flight to Jhb

2012-03-03 18:04

Lagos - Nigeria's Arik Air on Saturday suspended its daily flights to Johannesburg after 125 Nigerians were refused entry into South Africa over a dispute with airport health authorities.

A spokesperson said Arik Air decided to suspend flights between Lagos and Johannesburg, the two financial hubs, due to a dispute with health authorities over yellow fever vaccination documents presented at OR Tambo International Airport by passengers.

Arik, the only Nigeria-owned airline on the lucrative Lagos-Johannesburg route, said that 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 a statement.

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

Hundreds of Nigerian and West African passengers travelling from the region are being refused entry into South Africa, the airline alleged.

Arik described the protocol as "irregular and obfuscating" and said it was not prepared to continue operations into a country where customers were at risk of detention or "any other measures meted out arbitrarily by the authorities."

The airline's chief executive, Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, said that the protocol was "haphazard" and "discriminatory to many of our passengers," according to the statement.
Arik began once-daily flights to South Africa in June 2009.

  • Hermann - 2012-03-03 18:28

    Good for our Health guys! I guess most yellow fever certificates are false anyway.

      samgaf - 2012-03-03 19:14

      lost mine in central africa and paid $15for one

      brieuse - 2012-03-03 20:57

      meanwhile thousands just walk in

      ednadp - 2012-03-03 23:02

      You are so right in what you are saying

  • Vicky - 2012-03-03 18:36

    At least one important rule that is being upheld consistently! Travelling to Mali 2 years ago I forgot my yellow fever vaccination record at home (SA) No problem entering Mali but coming back my kids and I were held at O R Tambo until a family member arrived with the Yellow fever cards! And I did not mind: 1) It was my own forgetfullness, 2) I welcomed the fact that our authorities were taking this issue that seriously. NO VALID YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION = NO ENTRY!!! Finish & klaar LOW FEVER VACCINATIN = NO ENTRY!!!

  • Danie - 2012-03-03 18:54

    Good, GIVE THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT A BELL's.. one daprtment starting to do their job...

  • samgaf - 2012-03-03 19:12

    This is the best news in decades,took the health goons a long time to lean to read

  • spartanx93 - 2012-03-03 19:13

    Good! Keep those pests out of South Africa!!

      Anthony - 2012-03-03 19:55

      @Spartanx93, At least you are straight forward and honest !! (most) of these comments have nothing to do with "Health" and all about sick "Racism"

      spartanx93 - 2012-03-04 08:45

      There are more than enough African foreign national leaching off the system. SA does not need more Nigerians running around especially if they are not meeting the health requirements!!

      Xboxs - 2012-03-06 20:03

      Oh please shut your pie hole,how many Nigerian are leaching off your system? How many Nigerian have come to knock on your door to beg for money or food? Keep lying to yourself ,i guess it make sleep better at night. Nigerians hussle for their own money ,they don't wait for hand outs like you losers.When a Nigerian buys a car or a house in SA ,he pays cash,no loans and no credits like you lame punks!

      blaqmonk - 2012-03-07 10:11

      @Xboxs with our stolen Xbox's and stolen money, yes i got conned by Nigerians, guess thats how they buy the houses cash when they are not working, and drug money, i get my weed from a Nigerian Oke, i say we keep them in the country cause I need my weed fix but stop it with the Cons yeah Xboxs?

  • Michael - 2012-03-03 19:36

    Good!!! keep the Nigerians out of South Africa! Way too many of them here. Drugs, prostitution etc etc...... They are all over. You can not even walk around in the Strand without feeling unsafe.

      Anthony - 2012-03-03 20:13

      Ohhhhhh, I thought it were the Russians who controlled the drugs and prostitution, in the Cape !!!!!

      Anthony - 2012-03-04 10:52

      Just google CT Russian underworld !!!! Feb 2012 –" Igor "the new Russian" Russol emerged from the door of his Bree Street brothel, ... When he was in Cape Town everything was nice and under control "

      Anthony - 2012-03-04 11:00

      15 Feb 2012 – "Serbian fugitive Dobrosav Gavric, Russian Igor Russol and ... doing their business in Cape Town and finding Cape Town so cosy ... "We're dealing with high-profile, professional and sophisticated gang and drug bosses ....."

  • Wally - 2012-03-03 19:39

    And the tragedy is...? About time there's a stop to this unreserved influx without measure from all and sundry. And yes, if you understand the huge number of illegal immigrants from the very part of the world with so-called "papers" I take my hat off to someone finally opening his/her/their eyes! Go get your woodwork sorted out, and yes, you don't like our legislation, you have the right to stay where you are, it is really your right! No-one forced you to come to SA. Instead of being annoyed with SA, sort out your own country, and those around you.

  • lazarus.agu - 2012-03-03 19:53

    South Africa.? It's apartheid mentality , even. The west is not this inhumane to their guest , you may be calling us pests remember that without. Nigeria. You do still be slaves to the whites. Who came to your country. And subjugated you for very. Long time , you can't drive them out so you vent your frustration on Nigerias , only a few backward countries still ask for yellow fever documents as a precondition. To enter. Their country

      Irene - 2012-03-03 20:36

      Lazarus shove a sock in it or better still swallow a weak condom of coke and do the world a favour.

      Silvana - 2012-03-04 08:59

      @lazarus Guests are invited and welcomed. Gatecrashers are uninvited and unwelcomed.

      steve.luckie - 2012-03-04 09:44

      Our brothers and sisters were in Nigeria during those dark days but they didn't sell drugs to little kids.

      Joe - 2012-03-04 16:08

      Working in the maritime industry I have spoken with several captains of vessels that travel around the world and most say the same thing. They dont often take on Nigerian crew anymore when working in the Middle East or Asia because alot of these countries will simply put them on the next plane back to Nigeria. When asked why the answer was always the same - Because so many arrested for theft or drug smuggling are from Nigeria so they prefer to just not deal with them. Not a good reputation for a country to get but not restricted to SA.

  • Alwyn - 2012-03-03 21:01

    Maybe Customs must apply the same measures for Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Congo, Angola and Tanzania.

  • Patrick - 2012-03-03 21:07

    These things are usually settled diplomatically after stand-offs like this. I guess SA Airways will know some truths soon if Nigerian officials have the liver to do what they are supposed to do in the circumstance. We shall have to demand the HIV status of South Africans coming to Nigeriato know whether to let them in. That should make them undersand how it hurts.Hope no one will talk about human rights violations! It's all in the name of health screening.

      Gauteng - 2012-03-04 14:04

      it just unfortunate that this issue is involves diplomacy but you can just stay in your country as you are now being a pain in da ass every where in south Africa Nigerian want to dominate and in Nigeria south Africans dont have any hair saloona ,not running brothels worse even dealing with drugs ,,,,you have brought corruption in this country including child prostitution if you dont follow countries rules just go back home and do your sh####t terms of slavery you are masters of it ....

  • Dean - 2012-03-03 21:18

    Aruk is a favourite tooret of a friend of mine!

  • phillip.havenga - 2012-03-03 21:19

    Is this supposed to be a loss to South Africa? Good Riddance!

      amaka007 - 2012-03-06 16:00's no loss to South Africa as long as Nigeria does not reciprocate.

  • Carlton Bana - 2012-03-03 21:28

    Haha Nigeria helped SA get democracy, any reason to justify you staying in SA. Its an open secret that Apartheid ended because of the Soviet Union, not because of the MK, civil disorder. About time now fix the fences.

  • strikly - 2012-03-03 21:46

    A failed home affairs (in South Africa) and a corrupt South African Embassy (in Nigeria) has seen many 'unqualified' Nigerians obtain permanent residency and extended visas to South Africa putting immense pressure on the customs and border protection of South Africa thus leading them to resolving to schemes as sad of 'Yellow Fever' vaccinations to reduce the influx of Nigerians. This is just a small fix to a larger problem.

  • Kusleg - 2012-03-03 22:01

    This certificate has always been an obvious requirement for any one who will be coming or has visited any country which lies on the other side of the equator...whether South African or not. Do not make unnecessary noise...regular travelers know very well that a yellow fever certificate is always come second after the passport.

      lolobear27 - 2012-03-04 05:21

      i once forgot my yellow fever certificate whn i went to west african & when i came back home (SA) i was not allowed entry & had to spend 4 hrs waiting for my wife to bring the certificates If me as a SA resident can be denied entry into my own country cause i did not have the yellow fever certificate, why must anyone who does not have it be allowed to enter SA? We used to have a free entry into UK but now we have to have visas cause of the Nigerians who used to buy passport from corrupt officials & use that to go to UK,get married to the local British chick claim social grands (sic)

  • Frederick Mintah - 2012-03-04 07:10

    This how backward the south African immigration is!! In this modern world how does one country turn away another's citizen because of yellow fever vaccination card? If they didn't have it for whatever the reason, why don't you just vaccinate then at their own cost? What is yellow fever compared to the AIDS? A country that always vents their anger and frustrations in foreigners because of their own incompetence (sic)

      Silvana - 2012-03-04 09:13

      They do it to protect the citizens of this country and for once I am damn proud of a government department. A vaccine is a PREVENTATIVE measure. If you are already infected with the disease from your country of origin, vaccination ain't going to stop the disease. "What is yellow fever compared to the AIDS?" Yellow Fever is contagious to innocent people around you. AIDS is only contagious through sexual intercourse and being in contact with contaminated blood. So, If I don't sleep around and take precautions when coming into contact with blood, Yellow Fever is far more dangerous to me than AIDS.

      Silvana - 2012-03-04 09:26

      @Frederick Our immigration is backward? LOL I've been to Lagos, it is a showcase of 3rd world. You forget to mention all the "self appointed" pay-as-you-go security checks one has to endure in Lagos airport before you can get out of the airport. That's progressive?

      Carol Edwards Dempers - 2012-03-04 09:41

      This is a forum for intellectual comments, BUT Frederick Mintah are you stupid!!! You try and enter Australia, New Zealand or any other civilised country without the correct requirements, you will be put straight back on a plane and sent home!!! We have enough illness in this country! WELL DONE TO OUR BORDER CONTROL!!!

      lolobear27 - 2012-03-04 18:47

      @ Frederick if you think SA is backwards why do u want to come visit or stay cause according to you we are still living in the dark days I have been to many other african countries & i must say those countries that i went to they r way behind with social development of the local population,lack of basic things like water,electricity & the removal of gabbage is none existing Regarding AIDS are u forgeting that you guys are the once that keeps making babies with the SA chicks & leave them with ur kids that my tax money must feed them meaning u had sex with that lady without using a condom so do not make the AIDS issue a South Africans only problem cause u r also contributing to its spread

      Ofentse - 2012-03-05 08:09

      hahaha...Frederick Mintah u say S.A is Backwaeds? what a joke I've been to Lagos, Port Harcourt, Yenagoua Baylesa state and you really want to compare S.A to that sh#t hole of country(Nigeria) with such moron am prouldly South African

      Kagiso - 2012-03-07 09:58

      you think tht it's acceptable and fair for the healths of my fellow countrymen to suffer, all becoz of foreigners who don't care about theirs? shame on you!

  • phathuchicos - 2012-03-04 13:39

    Why am I not suprised on the nasty comments made in here about Nigerians...its white people after-all commenting.

      lolobear27 - 2012-03-04 18:55

      @ The-Azanian bru this issue is not about race it is about protecting the local population from contagious virus please lets stop playing the 'race card" whn the r important issues that needs to be sorted out by us

  • phathuchicos - 2012-03-04 13:42

    About Nigeria helping SA get democracy...that's a big fat lie. It's South Africans' who made it happen just like what's currently happening in Syria.

      amaka007 - 2012-03-06 15:54

      how old are u?

  • Agba-Akin - 2012-03-06 15:42

    Its Simple and easy...... Nigeria too should require HIV test certificate from South African going to Nigeria..... SIMPLE !!!!!

      Elle-Black - 2012-03-07 09:13

      @ Agbna we will gladly do it beacuse we not going there in our millions

  • amaka007 - 2012-03-06 15:52

    My beloveth brothers from's sad Nigeria has reciprocated the not so kind gesture its citizens had to go through.I have always respected South Africa but on that flight some travellers had been to the country twice in February with the same yellow fever cert and were still deported..does make sense.

  • amaka007 - 2012-03-06 16:16

    Let nobody blame South Africa for taking any move whether sane or insane that will protect its citizens.125 Nigerians where sent back alongside other Africans but Nigeria is saying NO I guess because there are better ways this issue could have been managed.Children and women were left littered at the airport with no food,water or medication for hours. If you commit a crime you should be punished so I fault those who generalize Nigerians as criminals when even South Africa has given awards to Nigerians for various commendable works. Nigeria has reciprocated this gesture..let's see how it ends.

  • Edwin Obaje - 2012-03-07 08:07

    whats even happening in this South Africa? all we hear about them here in nigeria is HIV-AIDS,Drugs and violence....killing other nationals and demanding stupid health certificate from them.south african girls are so ugly and damn so promiscuos. are u people afraid that Nigerian economy is gonna topple yours to rank africa's top?sorry peeps its inevitable cos we the young are taking over and we gonna invest in every nation in africa and there's notin u cld do about it

      Elle-Black - 2012-03-07 09:15

      @ Edwin then if that's the case,if things are better under the siege og boko hram then the authorities did you guys a favour by not allowing 125 of your fellow people in here,you should be celebrating it not fighting it.

      Justin - 2012-03-07 09:35

      Edwin you are the exact reason we dont want Nigerians here. You are just greedy! Investing . . . hahahahahaha! you dont invest! you just take! You are worse than the colonialists that came here and mined minerals etc. At least they built roads and infrastructure. You just break down infrastructure and dont develop. Look at your own country! Just one big slum. Bye-bye!

      Elle-Black - 2012-03-07 09:48

      @ Edwin drug trade is not an invsetment dude

      blaqmonk - 2012-03-07 10:42

      @Edwin Stop killing each other so much in Nigeria and maybe you will have a genuine chance, we are a progressive nation

  • garth.james - 2012-03-07 13:29

    It is time we started being careful on who and what is allowed in to the country.

  • Jerry - 2012-03-07 13:51

    Great as all may sound, may i ask south African one question, is yellow fever more contagious than Tuberculosis that you find one within 50-100 persons? just get over with this, lets see what our various government will come out with

  • kolawole.aderinwale - 2012-03-07 16:17

    SA, you are biting the finger that feeds you. Remember MTN, DSTV Shoprite and co

  • jikechukwu - 2012-03-08 11:55

    countries who are friends should not ague because of health.south african laws are respected very well and that is acredit to s.a.but we should be very sensitive.there are HIV AIDS PETIENTS also going to Nigeria and they get healed @ SINAGOUGE CHURCH OF ALL NATION and come back with gifts.PRAISE JESUS FOR THIS.I ALSO KNOW THAT SOME OTHER PATIENT FROM NIGERIA AS WELL CAN COME TO S.A FOR OPERATION AND GO HOME HEALTHY.PEOPLE ARE SICK.LET US BE SENSITIVE TO ISSUES LIKE THIS .LET NO ONE BE HURT RATHER LET US BUILD AFRICA .PASTOR ??????????

  • jikechukwu - 2012-03-08 12:01

    there is no time for disputes.let us build africa .no condemnation.we all are now liberated.let the world love one another which is the greatest commandment ....

  • Damola - 2012-03-08 12:05

    Its funny how South Africans claim Nigerians contribute to crime in their country, yet you don't deport them for 419, prostitution or drugs but for a disease that is all but wiped out. Is that xenophobia or just following rules

  • buway1 - 2012-03-08 18:52

    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...

  • Kingsley - 2012-03-08 20:53


  • Senzo - 2012-03-08 23:02

    Good because we do not need nigerians and their corruption and drugs in our country..... including ther drugs

  • Mike - 2012-03-24 10:50

    Strange development! AIDS (HIV) was born in South Africa. The worst country in the World for health!

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