The management of Air Peace has said that the visas of all the 264 passengers that it conveyed to Saudi Arabia recently were verified, despite the revocation of the visas of 177 of them by authorities in foreign nations.
The visas of the 177 passengers were cancelled after all the 264 travellers from Nigeria landed in Jeddah on Monday. Their flight started from Kano on Sunday.
Commenting on the issue on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia said the passengers provided incorrect information to obtain a category of visa that doesn’t apply to them.
But in a swift reaction to this, Air Peace in a statement issued by its Chief Operating Officer, Oluwatoyin Olajide, on Wednesday, said, “For the avoidance of doubt, Air Peace is a scheduled operator between Nigeria and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and the said flight was indeed a scheduled flight and not a chartered/UMAR/HAJJ or any special flight
“This scheduled flight means we are allowed to airlift all categories of passengers with different types of visas as long as their visas are valid and approved by the Saudi Arabian authorities. We are not limited to UMRAH or HAJJ visas alone on a scheduled flight.
“The visas of all passengers on the said flight to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia were checked and verified through the requisite procedures and were vetted to be valid before departure.
“The visas were verified using the visa confirmation platform provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saudi Arabia, which confirmed the validity of each passenger’s visa before passengers were allowed to check-in for the flight.”
The airline went further to state that all the visas of the 264 passengers were duly verified, confirmed, and accepted as authentic for the trip through the visa portal provided by the Saudi Arabia authorities, adding that “if not, no passengers would have been able to depart from Nigeria.
“This is just one of two steps required before a passenger is accepted on the flight to Saudi Arabia.”
The airline stated that the next step was the use of the Advanced Passenger Information System.
“We equally use this system to determine the admissibility or otherwise of each passenger on that flight.
“The APIS was live between Air Peace’s reservation system and the Saudi Arabia National Travel Security Centre Carrier Portal to transmit passenger details before departure, to the Saudi authorities to determine the admissibility or otherwise of the passengers.
“No form of cancellation from the Saudi authorities was received against these passengers despite the live transmission of their details,” Air Peace stated.