Air Peace has postponed its plan to evacuate Nigerians willing to return from South Africa over the xenophobic attacks in the country.
On Wednesday, Ferdinand Nwonye, spokesman of the ministry of foreign affairs, had announced the plan of the airline to evacuate Nigerians who wish to return to Nigeria “free of charge.”
But in a statement on Friday, Allen Onyema, chairman of Air Peace, said the evacuation which was planned to commence from Friday, suffered a setback because a majority of those interested in the process have expired passports.
He said the airline had already placed its Boeing 777 aircraft on standby since September 3 and was only awaiting for further directive from the federal government.
Onyema announced the new date for evacuation as September 9 or September 10, adding that the process of passport renewal for affected persons have commenced.
“The Air Peace flight to South Africa will take off from the Lagos Airport and also return to Lagos. As earlier stated, the take off could be Sept 9 or Sept 10,” she said.
“This is because the Nigerians in South Africa have to obtain travel certificates because many of them do not have travel documents and their passports have expired.
“Air Peace has placed its aircraft, Boeing 777 for the flight since Sept. 3, but the Nigerian High Commission needed time to register the Nigerians billed to travel.
“And, they are already doing that in Johannesburg and Pretoria.”