Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
The Minister of Aviation, Captain Hadi Sirika, has announced that international flights would resume on Saturday, August 29.
Sirika made this announcement on Monday, August 17, on Twitter, saying that flights will begin with the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
‘Glad to announce the resumption of international flights from the 29th of August, 2020. Beginning with Lagos and Abuja as we did with the domestic flight resumption. Protocols and procedures will be announced in due course. We thank you for your patience,’ the Minister said.
Nigeria placed travel restrictions on international flights into the country on March 21 after the country’s coronavirus cases doubled from 12 to 22. The airport closure was meant to last one month but as cases grew globally, the date of resumption got postponed.
The Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, were the first to be shut as measures to stem the spread of COVID19, the country’s civil aviation regulator, NCAA, announced in a statement while Enugu, Kano and Port Harcourt were shut afterwards.
The FG said the closure was necessary to contain the spread of the virus across the country. However, domestic flights have resumed in the country.
After speculations surfaced last month that restrictions would continue till October, Sirika took to his Twitter handle to state that flights would resume earlier than reported.
On his official Twitter account on Tuesday, July 21, Sirika said the Ministry will announce the agreed resumption date, regardless of the ban by countries in Europe.
‘International Flight resumption date is not October. In liaison with the Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Presidential Task Force of COVID-19, we will announce the agreed date, regardless of the ban by Europe, UAE, etc. May be earlier than October,’ Sirika said.