Friday, 12 August 2022 15:55

Nigerian carrier suspends JNB flights

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Nigeria’s largest carrier, Air Peace, has announced over Twitter that it will suspend operations to Johannesburg from August 22 to October 8.

The principal reason it gave was the difficulties that Nigerians are experiencing in securing visas to South Africa timeously.

“The development is regretted but has become inevitable due to the delayed issuance of South African visas to travellers, worsening forex crunch and the increasing cost of aviation fuel as well as its scarcity,” said the Twitter release.

The airline said it had informed the South African High Commission in Lagos that the difficulty experienced by Nigerians in getting South African visas was resulting in what it called “abysmally low” passenger loads on its flights to Johannesburg. But it now believes that the visa situation will have improved by early October, hence the return to service date.

The scarcity and high cost of aviation fuel in Nigeria has been a concern for Nigerian carriers since January.

Air Peace has operated twice-weekly flights between Johannesburg and Lagos since December 2020, but instead of the B777-300 it initially deployed on the route, it now uses an Embraer 195-E2 jet. Flights depart Lagos on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Passengers who have bookings that are affected by the suspension may reschedule to fly before August 22 or after October 9. They may also request a refund.

SAA flies non-stop between the two cities three times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Togolese carrier, ASKY Airlines also operates two direct flights a week between Johannesburg and Lagos. The flight departs Lomé and flies to Lagos, uplifts passengers and then proceeds onward to Johannesburg.


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