Uche Usim, Abuja
The federal government, on Thursday, said measured steps were being taken to reopen international travel that was shuttered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To this end, it has asked airlines in the country to begin the process for the resumption of international flights “in a matter of weeks not months”.
The international gateways were shut in March in response to the rampaging pestilence that vandalized global economies.
However, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, at the daily briefing asked the aviation authorities and airline operators to begin the process for the resumption of international flights.
He said: “For international travel, we have made recommendations to the aviation industry to commence the process for opening international airports provided all existing international and local prevention guidelines and COVID-19 are in place,” he said.
Aliyu said passengers for international flights would arrive three hours before departure time.
“We have modified the advice with the regards to arrival for flights: Passengers arriving at the airports for domestic flights advice to arrive at least one and a half hours before their flight, and three hours before international flights where these restart,” he said.
Also speaking at the briefing, the Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika said the authorities were in alignment with PTF to resume international services in weeks.
He said: “In the space where we operate, we are not alone. We don’t operate alone. We’ve got the Customs, Immigrations, Police, Civil Defence, Port Health etc within the airport.
“So, the PTF on COVID-19 is working with all stakeholders to choose a date everybody will be happy with. Left to us, we won’t close the airspace. We were forced by this monster to close”, he said.