Efforts by the Federal Government to airlift stranded Nigerians in Canada has been dogged with controversies following disagreement among Ministries of Aviation and Foreign Affairs and the High Commission of Canada on the choice of carrier to be engaged in the exercise, The Nation has learnt.
Investigations by The Nation revealed the Canadian High Comission was delaying the evacuation of Nigerians from the North Africa country by deferring flight rights for an indigenous carrier – Air Peace in covert moves to pave the way for Ethiopian Airlines, which has been positioned to operate the air lift at a higher fare.
The Federal Government last week designated Air Peace to operate the evacuation flight Nigerians stranded in Canada from Toronto and Calgary.
Informed source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs disclosed the Canada High Commission opened talks with Ethiopia Airlines, which has been airlifting Canadian citizens from different parts of Africa to Canada to deny a Nigerian carrier the opportunity to airlift its citizens.
Irked over the subtle moves to pave the way for Ethiopian Airlines, the Ministries of Aviation and Foreign Affairs, investigations revealed are insisting the Nigerian carrier has to operate the flight in tandem with its new position that all evacuation flights must be conducted by Nigerian carriers.
A document sourced from the Canada High Commission directed that passengers should pay $2, 500 to Ethiopian Airlines while Air Peace charged $1, 134.
319 passengers have paid to the Nigerian airline, which has concluded plans to operate full flight to the North American country.
The directive from the Canada High Commission asked the would-be passengers to pay for Flight ET3900 from Lagos to Addis-Ababa that would depart from Lagos by 1:00 pm Nigerian time on May 18, 2020.