Nigeria impounds UK plane flouting Covid-19 rules

Monday May 18 2020

An aircraft belonging to UK firm Flairjet. Nigeria on Sunday impounded an aircraft belonging to the company for illegally running a passenger service. PHOTO | POOL



Nigeria on Sunday impounded a UK plane for illegally running a passenger service. The plane had been approved strictly for humanitarian operations.

The aircraft belonging to Flairjet, a UK company, was said to have landed in the West African country with passengers against regulations governing control of Covid-19.

Nigerian Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika said in Abuja that Flair was given approval for humanitarian operations but “we caught them conducting commercial flights.”


"This is callous! The craft is impounded, crew being interrogated. There shall be maximum penalty. Wrong time to try our resolve,” he warned.


The UK company was running commercial trips despite an existing travel ban.  

In late March, Nigeria closed all airports in the country to international flights to prevent further spread of coronavirus.

Although it has eased some restrictions, all international flights are still suspended.

The Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 also extended inter-state travel and announced a curfew from 8pm to 6pm daily.


Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari said he would not allow administration of herbal drugs and other medicine on Nigerians without the advice from medical and scientific experts in the country.

“We have our institutions, systems and processes in the country. Any such formulations should be sent to them for verification...I will not put it to use without the endorsement of our institutions,” he said.

The country has received samples of herbal medicine from Madagascar which is claimed to treat Covid19. The drug has yet to be put through effective scientific testing.