Visa for 264 passengers flying from Nigeria to Jeddah are canceled by Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian authorities have revoked the visas of all 264 passengers traveling from Nigeria to Jeddah.

The Air Peace flight took off from Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos via Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano on Sunday evening, November 12, and arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s main city, today, November 13.

However, after landing, the Saudi authorities cancelled the visas of all passengers and announced that they would return to Nigeria.

A source told Vanguard that all passengers and airline officials were shocked by the cancellation of the visas because the passengers had passed through the Advanced Passengers Prescreening System (APPS), which was monitored by Saudi Arabian authorities, before departing Nigeria. The source said that all passengers and airline officials were shocked by the cancellation of the visa.

The source wondered if the incident was a strategy to dissuade the airline from starting operations, as the airline has had a high occupancy rate since it began operations and even the flight to Jeddah, which was scheduled to depart on Tuesday, was already full.

Due to the intervention of the Nigerian Embassy, the Saudi authorities have reduced the number of passengers to be returned from 264 to 170

Saudi Arabian Airlines operates direct flights from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia, but since Air Peace began flying to the Middle Eastern country at relatively low fares, the airline has enjoyed high usage and has contributed to the country’s foreign currency savings as Nigeria’s airline.

According to a source at the Nigerian embassy in Jeddah, even Saudi immigration officials do not know who cancelled the visa, but it was cancelled when the airline was already flying to Jeddah.

According to this source, “The airline was exempted because APPS, which operates between the two countries, was screening out invalid visas and their passengers. The system accepted all affected passengers and allowed them to pass through.

The deported passengers were 177 passengers, and Air Peace had already departed for Nigeria. They are now on their way to Nigeria”.

Meanwhile, airline industry insiders attribute the situation to aviation politics.

They said that unless the government intervenes by adopting the principle of reciprocity, this is the way to drive Nigerian airlines out of the route.

According to industry expert and Group Captain John Ojikutu, chief executive officer of Centurion Airlines Security and Safety Consultants in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia’s action is aviation politics and diplomacy.

He also requested that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs intervene in the matter immediately.

He also indicated that it is important for the Nigerian government to strongly support Nigerian airlines that serve international flights.

Mr. Ojikutu stated: “The actions of the Saudi authorities are shocking. There is geopolitics and there is diplomacy. The Nigerian government needs to designate Nigeria’s airline as the flag carrier and show other countries that it represents Nigeria.

The government must intervene.” The government must now support Air Peace to ensure that its rights, which are contained in the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between the two countries, are not denied. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not silent. Nigeria will not be silent either. Ideally, the government is expected to support its own airlines when they fly abroad.

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