In a surprising turn of events, Saudi Arabia revokes visas for 264 Nigerian passengers who arrived in the country via Air Peace, a major Nigerian carrier, causing a stir in both aviation and diplomatic circles. The cancellation occurred upon their arrival in Jeddah, prompting investigations by Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to determine if any regulations were breached.
President Bola Tinubu’s presence at the Arab-Africa summits coincided with this incident, adding to the complexity. The Ministry assured ongoing efforts to address issues affecting Nigerian citizens’ welfare, aligning with President Tinubu’s strategy.
As Saudi Arabia revokes visas for the Nigerian passengers, soon as they arrive, this unexpected action affected victims and the airline, as they were surprised by the visa cancellation. Speculation arose about the possibility of discouraging Air Peace’s operations, considering the airline’s recent high demand on this route.
Efforts from the Nigerian embassy in Jeddah resulted in a reduction of affected passengers to 170 from the initial 264, yet uncertainties remained regarding who initiated the visa cancellations.
This move has been deemed a matter of aeropolitics, prompting concerns and calls for government intervention to protect Nigerian carriers. The need for Nigeria to designate and support its airlines as flag carriers, ensuring their rights in international agreements, was emphasized.
The situation reflects the significance of diplomatic strategies in air travel matters, and calls have been made for proactive governmental support for Nigerian carriers.