Coronavirus: Nigeria seizes British plane for flouting virus flight ban

Nigerian aviation workers walk by as US citizens queue to check in and be repatriated at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria Tuesday, April 7, 2020. (File photo: AP)

Nigeria has seized a British plane for flouting a travel ban imposed as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the aviation minister said Sunday.

Flair Aviation, the airline involved, was authorized to conduct humanitarian flights but was caught operating commercial flights, Hadi Sirika said on his Twitter account.

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

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There was no immediate reaction on Sunday from either the company or the British embassy on the matter.

Nigeria has shut its airports and airspace since March to contain COVID-19, which has so far infected 5,621 people and claimed 176 lives there.

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Last Update: 07:06 KSA 10:06 - GMT 07:06
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