Another set of 350 Nigerians fleeing from xenophobic attacks in South Africa are due to arrive the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Tuesday.
The latest confirmation followed the postponement, twice, of the move to airlift the Nigerians out of South Africa free of charge by Air Peace.
Sources told The Nation that Air Peace has deployed a Boeing 777-300 for the purpose, with the aircraft and its crew billed to depart Lagos in the early hours of Tuesday for Oliver Tambo International Airport.
The Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, confirmed the development to The Nation.
Onyema said the airline was working with the Nigerian High Commissioner in South Africa, who confirmed the ongoing profiling of Nigerians billed to return home.
Onyema said the airline is fully mobilised for the operation, adding that efforts are on to deploy a bigger aircraft with capacity for 367 passengers to bring home Nigerians who are willing.
He said the High Commission has prepared over 350 Nigerians for the flight, adding that the sour experience of flying an aircraft half full, as it experienced last week, is not favourable to the airline.
Onyema said the carrier would be willing to deploy a bigger aircraft, with capacity to airlift over 367 passengers, if it is sure that the affected Nigerians would scale the relevant immigration and other hurdles set by South African authorities.
He said: “Air Peace is fully mobilised for the next batch of evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa.
“We did not suspend flights, we only waited for the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa to prepare the next batch.
“The whole idea is not to fly a half full aircraft, which would make us incur more costs and other logistics.
“We are fully set for Tuesday.
“Our aircraft and crew will leave about 4am and get to South Africa about 9am for the operations.
“We hope about 350 Nigerians are ready so that we fly enough passengers not to leave the aircraft empty.
“As an airline, we are ready to bring back from South Africa all Nigerians willing to return.
“We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to carry out this national service.
“The President did not play politics with this matter.”