Interviews with passengers who arrived here on Tuesday, on the Antigua Airways-chartered flight, have revealed that all the visitors are not from Nigeria, as was believed.
It was alleged that the arrival of the over-100 passengers created chaos at the V.C. Bird International Airport since many of them had no prior reservations for accommodation.
Our intrepid REAL News correspondent, George Wehner, had the opportunity to meet and assist a few of the African brothers and sisters on Wednesday, November 2, and was told they are from Cameroon.
Reporting on his engagement with them, Wehner says he discovered that Antigua Airways was advertising this destination not only in Nigeria, but in other parts of the Continent, as well.
Wehner reports that the Africans’ round-trip fare – between here and Lagos – was not cheap. He says he was informed that the trip cost over US$4,300, which is equivalent to over $2.8 million West African CFA francs.
These persons claim they paid 70 percent of their air travel, which was US$3,017.09, while their employers chipped in the remaining 30 percent of the ticket cost, which was almost US$1,300.
This is the visitors’ first time leaving the African continent, according to Wehner, and they are expected to be on island for six days
Meanwhile, Wehner alleges that the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) has not received any application from Antigua Airways; neither has it issued any licence to the airline to operate here, he claims.
Notwithstanding the flood of criticism and disappointment surrounding the so-called inaugural flight, the Browne Administration is pounding its chest in self-congratulation.
According to this week’s Cabinet Notes, Prime Minister Browne reported that he had met with several Nigerian officials who arrived on the Independence Day charter.
The Notes also describe the more-than 100 passengers as being on holiday.
The release also claims that the further scheduling of flights will take place as soon as a number of certificates have been issued to the airline.
“Despite the naysayers, the Antigua Airways flight is considered a success,” the Notes say proudly.