The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has cancelled the visas of all the 264 passengers airlifted by Air Peace to Jeddah from Kano on Monday and insisted that the airline should return them to Nigeria.
The flight reportedly started it’s journey, on Sunday night, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and arrived Saudi Arabia via the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.
On landing in the Kingdom, however, authorities announced that all the passengers’ visas were cancelled.
John Ojikutu, industry expert and the CEO of Centurion Aviation Security and Safety Consult, Nigeria, confirmed the development.
“The action of the Saudi Authorities is shocking. There is aero politics there, and there is also diplomacy. There is a need for the Nigerian government to stand firmly with Nigerian carriers and designate them as flag carriers so that other countries will know that they represent Nigeria.
“Government must come out and intervene”, he said.
Another source who preferred anonymity said that all the passengers and the airline personnel were shocked at the cancellation of the visas because, during check-in, the passengers went through the Advanced Passengers Prescreening System (APPS), which was also monitored by the Saudi Arabia authorities before the flight left Nigeria.