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Flight information board at the Murtala Muhammed Airport /Photo: Femi Awoniyi

Nigeria postpones resumption of international flights to 5 September

The Nigerian civil aviation authorities have postponed the resumption of international flights to 5 September.

The earlier date for the restart of international operations at the country’s airports had been 29 August.

Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Musa Shuaibu Nuhu, revealed the news during a Presidential Task Force COVID-19 briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

He said while airlines and airports were ready to operate, other non-aviation logistics prompted the one-week extension.

“We have other non-aviation logistics we are still working on, mostly the COVID-19 protocol tests and online platform,” he said. “We need to get this ready.”

“So, for this reason, 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.”

Nuhu described 5 September as a “sacrosanct date”.

“In due course, we will be announcing the protocols for the resumptions and we will be giving further details,” he said. “Hopefully early next week, we will release this.”

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had announced on 17 August that like it was done during the resumption of domestic flights across the country, the international flights would commence with two major airports.

Sirika named the airports as the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Nigeria started to restrict international flights in March as part of efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In July, the country resumed domestic flight operations with international flights scheduled to follow.

The PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, during the briefing on Thursday, said he hopes the reopening of international flights will help to re-open the economy.

Kola Tella

READ ALSO Nigeria to resume international flights on 29 August, Aviation minister announces

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