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Air Peace Faces Visa Setback as Saudi Arabia Cancels Entry for 264 Passengers from Kano to Jeddah,

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Air Peace Aircraft

.. Raising Speculation of Aeropolitical Pressures

Air Peace, Nigeria’s major carrier, faced a setback when Saudi Arabia unexpectedly canceled the visas of all 264 passengers arriving in Jeddah from Kano.

Despite a smooth journey from Lagos to Kano and then to Jeddah, the Saudi authorities insisted that the airline return the passengers to Nigeria. 

The passengers, along with airline personnel, were surprised as their visas had been processed through the Advanced Passengers Prescreening System (APPS), monitored by Saudi authorities before departure.

Speculation arose about whether the visa cancellations were a strategic move to deter the airline from operating to that destination, given Air Peace’s consistently high load factor since initiating the route. 

The Nigerian embassy intervened, leading to a reduction in the number of passengers to be returned from 264 to 170.

While Saudi Air had been operating directly from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia, Air Peace had gained popularity by offering relatively lower fares, contributing to the conservation of foreign exchange for Nigeria. 

The Saudi Immigration personnel claimed ignorance about the visa cancellations, stating that they occurred while the airline was already en route to Jeddah.

Despite the Advanced Passenger Prescreening System (APPS) accepting all affected passengers, 177 passengers were eventually deported, and Air Peace has returned them to Nigeria.

Industry observers attribute this incident to aeropolitics, suggesting that it may be an attempt to pressure the Nigerian operator out of the route unless government intervention occurs, possibly through reciprocity principles.

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