Coup: Aircraft conveying Nigerian pilgrims trapped in Niger, says MaxAir

By Fatai Ahmed
MaxAir says one of its aircraft is temporarily trapped in Niamey due to the ongoing military coup in Niger.
In a statement on Thursday, the airline’s management said the aircraft had successfully dropped off the last group of Niger pilgrims before it became stranded.
Although the aviation firm did not state the number of passengers on board, it was reported that the airline, a B-747-400, landed in Niamey with 360 Nigerian pilgrims onboard and about 18 crew onboard.
“MaxAir Limited regrets to announce that one of our aircraft has been temporarily trapped in Niamey, Niger, after successfully dropping off the last group of Niger pilgrims,” the statement reads.
“The safety of our crew and staff on board is assured, and we are actively seeking approval to depart as soon as possible.
“The situation is a result of ongoing unrest in the country. Our management team is in constant communication with local authorities and is working diligently to resolve the matter promptly.
“We extend our gratitude for the patience and understanding of our passengers and their families during this time. Updates will be provided regularly as the situation progresses.
“MaxAir Limited prioritises safety above all else and remains committed to the well-being of our passengers and crew.”
Earlier on Thursday, Niger soldiers announced the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum from office, leading to the suspension of all institutions and closure of the country’s borders and airspace.
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