By Jimoh Babatunde & Daniel Eteghe
LAGOS — As the country eagerly awaits the arrival of more Nigerians trapped at the airport in Cairo, Egypt as ordered by President Goodluck Jonathan, Egypt Air, Thursday, cancelled its flight out of Lagos.
Investigation by Vanguard yesterday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport showed that the office of the Egyptian carrier was deserted as passengers expected to travel on the airline were turned back.
The management of the airline had a notice that reads: “Attention, Egypt Air Passengers. Flight MIS876 date 3 Feb 2011, Lagos to Cairo. Flight now cancelled due to current situation in Egypt. Egyptian Air regrets the inconvenience. Signed Management.”
The airline staff on ground at the airport could not give a specific time as to when the airline will resume flights from Lagos to Cairo.
Since the airline is not flying out of Nigeria, there is no flight expected from Egypt any moment from now.
No fewer than 200 Nigerians, mainly students, businessmen, government officials and others on medical visits are reportedly stranded at the Cairo International Airport due to the turmoil in that country and have not been able to even call home as the Egyptian authorities had blocked the Internet and mobile telephones.
Egypt Air, which is the major airline the Nigerians booked for the flight, has been cancelling flights to African cities especially Lagos, Kano, Accra, Nairobi and Entebbe.
Egypt has been in crisis for nearly a week now, with hundreds of thousands of youth pouring into the streets everyday in an effort to topple President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled the country for nearly 30 years.