Nigeria: Covid-19 - Why Nigeria Postponed Resumption of International Flights - Official

Nigeria on map.

The Nigerian government said it postponed the resumption of international flights to ensure all essential things were put in place.

International flights, earlier scheduled to resume on August 29, will not commence on September 5.

"Regret to announce that the international flight resumption earlier scheduled to resume on 29th August has been shifted to 5th September 2020," the ministry of aviation tweeted on Thursday.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in March ordered the suspension of international flights to stop further the spread of COVID-19 virus into the country.

While local flights were also suspended, they resumed about five weeks ago as the country joined the rest of the world to battle the pandemic.

Nigeria recorded its first case of COVID-19 in an Italian who arrived in the country late February.

Since then, about 50,000 infections have been recorded leading to over 1,000 deaths.

Postponement

The Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Musa Nuhu, explained that the resumption was postponed to ensure all non-aviation logistics are put in place.

Mr Nuhu while speaking at the bi-weekly Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing, on Thursday, said this is to ensure the smooth and efficient resumption of the flights.

"Since the announcement that international flights will resume anytime from August 29, the aviation sector has worked assiduously to be ready for this date.

"The sector including the airports are already working towards this line. However, we have other non-aviation logistics we are still working on and it has mostly to do with COVID-19 protocols test and open the online platform.

"We need to get all these ready and in place so that we have a smooth and efficient resumption of the international flights without difficulties for passengers," he said.

Mr Nuhu said all COVID-19 protocols to be followed for international flights will be released before the new resumption date.

He also said a comprehensive list of countries from where passengers will not be allowed to fly into Nigeria will be released next week.

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