Sept. 5 reopening: Nigeria approves 10 airlines, bars Air France, KLM, Etihad, others

Posted: September 3, 2020 in general, travel & tourism

Nigeria has approved only 10 foreign airlines to fly into the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja in Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, on resumption of international commercial flights into the country.

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who gave the names of airlines during a briefing of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, Thursday, said only the 10 are permitted to commence flight operations when the country opens its commercial airspace from September 5.

The minister listed the airlines as; British Airways (BA); Delta Air Lines; Emirates, Qatar, AWA, Kenya Airways and Middle East Airlines, as carriers permitted to operate into the Lagos airport.

While he also listed British Airways, Emirates, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, African World Airlines (AWA), and Middle East Airlines and Turkish Airlines as international carriers allowed into the Abuja airport.

He however reeled out another list of airlines not approved to fly into these airports to include; Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Angolan TAG, Air Namibia and Royal Air Maroc.

“Abuja and Lagos will be open for operations on the 5th of September. We are satisfied with the preparations so far, we don’t anticipate any hitches before we go over the procedures on what has changed I would quickly go over the airlines and the timetable.

“Saturday for Lagos there will be BA, Delta, Emirates, Qatar, AWA, Kenya Airways and Middle East airlines while for Abuja we have BA, Egypt Air, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, AWA, Middle East Airlines and Turkish. And then we will release to you the timetable for the remaining days to say time.

“We used two items the Foreign Carrier Aircraft Permit (FCOP) which is required by our laws for foreign airlines operating into Nigeria and of course the guidelines by COVID-19 Task force.

Now, at this point, it is important that we announce the airlines that are allowed for operations into the country. The ones not approved are Air France. Middle East Airlines is approved for only Lagos (airport). British Airways (is) approved – allowed entry under Covid-19 protocol.

“The reason for Air France is that tourists business holders are not allowed entry. KLM not approved for the same reason as Air France. Delta Airlines, no restrictions – USA, we have an Open Skies with them and they also allow us in.

“Qatar Airways are allowed and approved under Covid-19 protocol. Etihad, not approved. Ethiopian Airlines allowed entry under Covid-19 protocol. Egyptair approved, allowed entry under Covid-19 protocol.

“Rwandair not approved. Air Peace, not applicable, they are our own carrier in Nigeria, we thank them. Virgin Atlantic, approved, allowed entry under Covid-19 protocol. Air Namibia, not approved. Asky, approved. Royal Air Maroc, not approved. African World Airways, Ghana, approved.

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