By Justina Okpanku
The Federal Government has announced that it will resume domestic flights from July 8, 2020 in easing of coronavirus restrictions despite rising cases and deaths. Abuja and Lagos airports will open on July 8, 2020 while a handful of others are set to open July 11 and the rest on July 15. Government shut its airports to non-essential flights in March to check the spread of coroavirus pandemic.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika announced the new dates for resumption of flights on Wednesday. No date was given for the resumption of international flights. PTF (Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) had confirmed more than 25,000 coronavirus cases and almost 600 deaths as of Wednesday. “Passengers are highly advised to follow all the safety guidelines and protocols put in place to ensure that the airports don’t become channels of infection for the dreaded coronavirus,” he said.
According to a press statement signed by the Ministry of Aviation’s spokesperson, James Odaudu, Sirika also disclosed that only the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja and the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos will commence operations on July 8. The Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri, and Maiduguri airports will reopen to flights on July 11, while other airports across the country will join on the July 15.
It can be recalled that the minister had last month during a PTF briefing announced that domestic flights will resume June 21. The date was later postponed. The postponement was announced by the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Musa Nuhu.
Sirika said passengers looking to travel out of the country will have to wait a bit longer as the dates for the restart of international flights into and out of the country will be announced later.
He thanked stakeholders in the aviation industry and the Nigerian public who have had to cope with the adverse effects of the flight suspension for their perseverance and cooperation in ensuring a successful return of operations at the nation’s airports.
By Justina Okpanku