The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued detailed guidelines for officers of the Authority who have recently travelled abroad to self- isolate.
A statement signed by Sam Adurogboye, the General Manager, Public Relations, said this directive is for all NCAA staff already on any official assignments or trainings to a country where there is community transmission of COVID-19. He said this notice will be forwarded to the Office of the Director General and the General Manager, Aero Medical Standards.
“As a corollary, all pending inspections, trainings and various exchange programmes in involving foreign trips are suspended forthwith.
“To complement all these, the Authority has also directed that the 2020 Promotion Exercise for staff scheduled to hold on 4th April, 2020 be suspended till further notice. This postponement is in line with advice given by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for Organisations to avoid large gatherings as part of precautionary measures to curb spread of the virus. “NCAA wishes to enjoin all travelling public and other stakeholders to comply with all the directives issued to curb the spread of the global pandemic,” Adurogboye said.
Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is appealing to governments in Africa and the Middle East, as part of a worldwide campaign, to provide emergency support to airlines as they fight for survival due to the evaporation of air travel demand as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. IATA’s Director General, Alexandre de Juniac, said on its website that stopping the spread of COVID-19 is the top priority of governments but they must be aware that the public health emergency has now become a catastrophe for economies and for aviation. He said the scale of the current industry crisis is much worse and far more widespread than 9/11, SARS or the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and airlines are fighting for survival.
“Many routes have been suspended in Africa and Middle East and airlines have seen demand fall by as much as 60% on remaining ones. Millions of jobs are at stake. Airlines need urgent government action if they are to emerge from this in a fit state to help the world recover, once COVID-19 is beaten.
“Due to flight bans as well as international and regional travel restrictions, airlines’ revenues are plummeting—outstripping the scope of even the most drastic cost containment measures. With average cash reserves of approximately two months in the region, airlines are facing a liquidity and existential crisis. Support measures are urgently needed.
“Consistent with the ‘Extensive Spread’ scenario we published on 5 March, the disruptions from COVID-19 could result in 853,000 loss in passenger volumes and US$170 million loss in base revenues in Nigeria. The disruptions to air travel could also put at risk over 22,200 jobs in the country. If the situation spreads further, approximately 2.2 million passengers and US$434 million of revenues can be lost.
“IATA is proposing a number of options for governments to consider. They include: Direct financial support to passenger and cargo carriers to compensate for reduced revenues and liquidity attributable to travel restrictions imposed as a result of COVID-19.