Dr. Sani Aliyu, National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19

Coronavirus: Domestic flights won’t resume June 21, says Nigeria

* PTF yet to receive update from aviation sector on preparedness to restart operations ─National Coordinator

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Despite the earlier report on the authorities’ purported plan to reopen about five designated airports for flight operations within the country, the Federal Government has said domestic flights will not resume on June 21, 2020.

ConsumerConnect reports that Dr. Sani Aliyu, National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 at the daily briefing of the PTF, Thursday, June 11, in Abuja, FCT, disclosed that the domestic airlines were given a window of three weeks to “prepare” for resumption of operations.

The PTF National Coordinator said: “We did not say flights would definitely start on June 21.”

Recall that Dr. Aliyu, Monday, June 1 had stated that “the aviation industry is requested to start developing protocols to allow for domestic flights to resume anytime from June 21.”

Nigerian jets in the hangar waiting to fly again….

As regards an update on their readiness, he stressed that the PTF was yet to receive any update from the aviation sector on its preparedness to resume domestic flight operations.

“What we said to the aviation authorities is: you need to let us know from the 21st of June onwards if you are ready to start opening the skies. We didn’t say 21st of June skies open.

“We gave them a window of three weeks to prepare and I believe they are still preparing. We did not ask them for updates how things are going but we expect them to get back to us,” Aliyu declared.

According to him, “the aviation industry is highly regulated. There are certain things they have to do before they start flying such as retraining of pilots, recalibrating the aircraft, and ensuring safety at the airport to make sure people are safe.

“We don’t have an update on that yet but we expect them to come to us by the 21st of June.

“If they come back to us by the 21st of June and they say we are ready onwards, we will open the skies for domestic travellers and that’s when we will address the issue of interstate restrictions and curfew.

“But at the moment, there is no plan right now to say, 21st of June, here we go. It’s aspirational if anything.”

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