The Consulate General of Nigeria in New York, United States of America, USA, has announced that the first batch of Nigerians stranded in the US would be airlifted from Newark (EWR) Liberty International Airport in New Jersey on Sunday, May 10, 2020 by 9.15pm
The Ethiopean Airlines aircraft that would undertake the journey is expected to fly directly to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
A statement by the Consulate General, dated May 3, 2020, which notified the intending travellers of the development, however noted that while over 700 Nigerian nationals have registered with the country’s Missions in the USA to be evacuated, the aircraft has capacity for only 270 persons.
The statement, therefore, stressed that applicants would be attended to on a first come, first served basis with the list of evacuees being prioritized according to individuals’ immigration status, including the need to consider those stranded with proof of short stay visas, the elderly, families with children and returning students.
Full text of the statement reads:
URGENT PUBLIC NOTICE
EVACUATION FLIGHT FROM USA TO ABUJA ON SUNDAY 10TH MAY 2020.
The Consulate General of Nigeria in New York, on behalf of the Nigerian Missions in United States of America, wishes to refer to our earlier Public Notices dated 3rd and 16th April, 2020 and to confirm that a one-way flight is being arranged for the evacuation of stranded Nigerian nationals in the USA to Abuja on Sunday, May 10, 2020 by 9:15pm with flight Number ET 509 operated by the Ethiopian Airlines with a 270 passenger capacity, at the expense of the travelers. All travelers are expected to fly economy class. The projected cost for the one-way economy ticket is between $1,300 and $1,700 per adult, with the usual provision of appropriate percentage reductions for children and infants, if passengers book within this period of the arrangement with the Airline.
2.Additionally, this special Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 509 is expected to depart for Abuja from Newark (EWR) Liberty International Airport in New Jersey on Sunday 10th May 2020 by 9.15pm and is expected to fly directly to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The expected time of arrival in Abuja is 12noon on the next day after the flight. Further information on other flight arrangements shall be communicated to Nigerian nationals in the USA in due course.
3.Please note that over 700 Nigerian nationals have registered with our Missions in the USA to be evacuated. However, only 270 passengers shall be accommodated in this batch of evacuation. Missions will, therefore, attend to applicants on a first come, first served basis and shall prioritize the list of evacuees according to their immigration status, including the need to consider those stranded with proof of short stay visas, the elderly, families with children and returning students.
4.Consequently, Nigerians who choose to return to Abuja are required to book and pay for their ticket on flight number ET 509 to Abuja on Sunday, May 10, 2020 departing 9:15pm with the Ethiopian Airlines through www.ethiopianairlines.com. All those who have successfully bought a ticket in this flight should immediately forward a copy of their ticket along with the name, phone contact and address of their next of Kin in Nigeria to firstname.lastname@example.org for documentation within the next 3 days. Any traveler who have issues in booking this flight may email Mr. Nigusu Worku, the Ethiopian Regional Director of Sales and Services in USA at Nigusuw@ethiopianairlines.com for assistance.
5.Missions will not be able to help applicants who fail to secure a booking on time on this flight and follow other guidelines of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the Evacuation Exercise, earlier conveyed in our public notices under reference. Please, DO NOT come to the airport unless you have bought a ticket and forwarded to email@example.com for documentation and clearance.
6. It is advisable to be at the Airport 4hrs in advance, as temperature checks will be carried out, in accordance with Pre-Departure Infection Prevention Control (IPC) measures. Any prospective evacuee with a temperature above 38 degrees centigrade or visually observed to have any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, will not be allowed to check in. Please, also note that Ethiopian Airlines rules, will apply for this flight, including baggage restriction allowance of 2 pieces of 23 kilograms each as checked baggage and 7 kilograms for a carry-on piece.
7.While on-board, all prospective evacuees will be required to be in possession of hand sanitizers, which should be applied before boarding and intermittently throughout the flight duration. Furthermore, all are expected to wear face masks for the entire duration of the journey and on arrival at the airport in Abuja. All passengers will also be required to fill in a self-reporting/health assessment form which will be submitted, along with passports to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on arrival in Nigeria. Moreover, all returnees will be expected to adhere strictly to all instructions of Port Health Services (PHS) officials and observe other entry screening protocols.
8.On arrival, all returnees shall be transported by the Federal Government from the Airport to the designated Quarantine Centers for the compulsory fourteen (14) day period. During this period, all returnees will be tested for COVID-19 and will also be re-tested at the end of the quarantine period. Only those that test negative will be allowed to retrieve their passports from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), while positive cases will be transferred to designated Isolation Centers for treatment. Please, note that returnees will be responsible for planning their own travel arrangements from Abuja to their respective destinations within Nigeria after the compulsory quarantine period.
9. While thanking Nigerian nationals in the USA for their understanding in this very critical and unusual time of COVID-19, the Nigerian Missions may be contacted by our dedicated telephones at +1-6462150625 or +1-6462150517 for any specific questions on the planned ET509 flight to Abuja on Sunday 10th May, 2020 , please.
Consulate General of Nigeria,
3rd May 2020