After four months of shutdown due to Coronavirus lockdown, Nigeria has announced her readiness to resume international flights.
Announcing this at a press conference Thursday, Hadi Sirika, the Nigerian Minister of Aviation said the airlines are to begin operations from September 5 after the airlines might have fulfilled the COVID-19 protocols.
He said Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos are the only two airports are given clearance to re-open for business.
The minister announced that 14 airlines have been approved to commence international flights.
These include Middle East Airline, British Airways, Delta Airlines, Qatar Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and Egypt Air.
Others are Air Peace Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Asky Airlines, Africa World Airlines, Kenya Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Air Cote D’Ivoire and Turkish Airlines.
However, eight other popular airlines including Etihad Airways and Air France are yet to get approval.
Earlier, members of the presidential task force on COVID-19 HAD inspected the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to ascertain the facility’s readiness in line with safety protocols.
After the inspection, it was time for the media brief which held at the airport’s departure wing.
National Coordinator of PTF on COVID-19, Dr Sanni Aliyu said Nigeria is now transiting into the third Phase of the National Response for a period of four weeks with effect from 12.01 am on Friday, September 4, 2020.
Travel advisories as presented by the authorities indicate that airlines whose passengers are found wanting in pre-boarding requirements at the point of entry into Nigeria risk a $3,500 fine.
Travellers who show symptoms of COVID-19 shall be institutionally quarantined.
International passports of travelers will also no longer be held by immigration authorities pending the outcome of their COVID-19 statuses upon arrival.
The six-month mandate for the Presidential task force expires this month but has now been extended to the end of December.