The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus and an upsurge in the number of infected people has led to a global alarm with some governments ordering a recall of their citizens who are in non-essential positions around the world.

The State of Israel is one of the latest countries who have recalled its citizens for the purpose of flattening the curve and reducing the number of infected people globally. In keeping with the order for citizens to return home, approximately 250 Israeli citizens in Nigeria have become the first travelers to board a direct flight from Nigeria to Israel.

Press Release by His Excellency Simon Ben-Shoshan, Ambassador of Israel in Nigeria, and Permanent Representative of Israel to ECOWAS, said,

“This historic flight operated by Nigeria’s biggest carrier, Air Peace, coincides with 60 years of diplomatic relations and friendship between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the State of Israel. It is worth noting that this is the first time a Nigerian airline has operated a direct flight to Israel.

“My sincere gratitude goes to the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Aviation, and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. I would also like to thank Mr. Allen Onyema, the Chairman and CEO of Air Peace Airline whose leadership has made ethics historic event possible. My special thanks goes to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Israeli Ministry of Transportation; the Civil Aviation Authority in Israel; as well as two Israeli companies- Open Sky Ltd. and QAS Ltd.

“Finally, I would like to recognize and appreciate the Israeli community in Nigeria for their decades of contribution to Nigeria in the areas of economy, infrastructure, education and technology. Even though they are obliged to send the women and children back home, the managers of the Israeli companies have shown leadership by continuing the operations of their companies in Nigeria. For this, I as the Ambassador of the State of Israel am very proud and thankful to them for their contributions to the Nigerian community especially during this global crisis.

“We do hope and pray that we will soon know better days, and I wish you all good health and safety.”