Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigeria's wholly-owned largest airline Arik Air has resumed flights to South Africa, a day after it announced the suspension of its flights along the lucrative Lagos-Johannesburg route over a Yellow Fever vaccination documentation row.
In a statement posted on its website, Arik Air said flights scheduled for the weekend would be operated as a temporary measure, pending the resolution of the crisis spawned by the deportation of 50 Nigerian passengers of the airline by the South African authorities on Friday for alleged failure to provide genuine yellow fever vaccination documentation.
Pending when the authorities in both countries will resolve the issue, the airline said it would engage in ''rigorous'' screening of all passengers for the appropriate Yellow Fever documentation.
In an earlier statement, Arik Air had said: “Many of the passengers (on Friday's flight) have been detained and refused entry into the country in recent months. The Port Health Authorities cite the reason being incorrect or unrecognized batch numbers on the documentation which is mandatory proof before entrance to the country.”
“Arik has reached the conclusion that the irregular and obfuscating nature of this protocol is having an impact on its passengers and does not wish to proceed with operations into a country where its customers are at risk of detainment or any other measures meted out arbitrarily by the authorities.”
From its main hubs at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Arik Air also operates flights to many West African destinations as well as South Africa, Britain and the US.
-0- PANA SEG 4March2012