NIGERIAN aviation authorities have mover the date for the resumption of international flights in and out of the country from tomorrow to September 5 to give airports and airlines enough time to put their coronavirus checks in place.
Like other nations, Nigeria shut down her airspace when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, halting all flights, closing airports and placing an embargo on travel. Over recent weeks, however, the country has gradually lifted these restrictions, with domestic flights resuming and international operations were due to commence tomorrow.
However, Captain Musa Nuhu, the director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), said the federal government has shifted the resumption of international flights forward by a week due to logistics problems. At the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 in Abuja, he pointed out that the new resumption date would be Saturday September 5 2020.
Captain Nuhu said: “The aviation sector including the airports is ready to resume on the 29th but we have other non-aviation logistics we are still working on mostly to do with the Covid-19 protocols, tests, and online platforms. We need to get this in place so that we will have a smooth and efficient resumption of international flights without difficulties for all the passengers.”
He stated that September 5 was picked because there were still issues to be sorted out before allowing international carriers to operate into and out of Nigeria. The country’s airspace and airports had been shut in March to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and on July 8, the federal government opened the airspace and airports for domestic flight operations.
Captain Nuhu said: “Since the announcement by the honourable minister of aviation a few weeks ago that international flights will resume anytime from the 29th of August, the aviation sector has worked assiduously to be ready for this date. Unfortunately, I have to let you know that the resumption date has been shifted by one week to the 5th of September which is now a sacrosanct date.
“In due course, once these logistics are done, we will be announcing the protocols for the resumption and also we will be giving further details on the principle of reciprocity we have mentioned. So, hopefully early next week, we will release this.”