Ethiopian flight arrives Abuja amid pomp, passengers decry coronavirus test fee


Following the resumption of international flights after five months of COVID-19 lockdowns, Ethiopian Airline, yesterday, landed Abuja from Addis Ababa at about 1:35p.m.

The ET 911 flight, with about 120 passengers on board, was received amid pomp.

Originally billed to land 12noon, the plane was delayed by some flyers that were yet to pay their coronavirus test fee to be conducted on arrival.

RELATED NEWS:COVID-19: FG Begins Process To Restart International Flights

It was gathered that the aircraft had initially taxied away, leaving the passengers stranded for hours, but it later returned after the airline reached an agreement with the affected persons on paying when they arrived at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Ethiopian Airline, yesterday, landed Abuja from Addis Ababa at about 1:35p.m. Photo: Photo; TWITTER/NIGERIAGOV

Travelers were to pay N42,500 for the test, which must be conducted seven days after returning to the country, a development most of them frowned on.

A passenger, who arrived from the United Kingdom, Joe Ogwu, deplored the extra cost, noting: “In the UK, COVID-19 is done free of charge, but in Nigeria, one has to pay. That is not good enough.”

READ ALSO:COVID-19: FG approves last evacuation flight from U.S.

He added: “The Federal Government portal for uploading COVID-19 test result was a horrible experience.”

Ogwu said after travelling from Heathrow airport to Addis Ababa, “the Nigerian government ordered Ethiopian Airline to detain us there until we have paid for the COVID-19 test fee, even after the flight had taxied away.

“They asked the aircraft to return and eject us until they were sure we have all paid.”

He added that after payment, “we didn’t get an email confirmation. I paid N42,500, but in the UK, I did a free test.”

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Managing Director the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Rabiu Yadudu, was pleased with the resumption of flights.

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