Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos

Nigeria to resume transnational flights August 29, but …., says PTF

*Very glad to announce that international flights will resume from August 29, 2020 ─Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika

*That date is not sacrosanct, but we will work towards it, says Coordinator of PTF on COVID-19

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Though Nigeria is one of the countries with the highest number of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Africa, the Federal Government has announced Saturday, August 29, 2020, as a new date for the resumption of international flights.

ConsumerConnect reports Hadi Sirika, Honourable Minister for Aviation, who stated this at a briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Monday, August 17 in Abuja, FCT, said that international flights would resume in the country from the said date.

Hadi Sirika, Honourable Minister for Aviation

Sirika said: “We are very glad today to announce that international flights will resume from August 29, 2020.”

However, the Minister noted that “what we have become used to ─ physical distancing, wearing of masks, washing of hands, temperature taking, etc ─ will continue.”

The restart of international flights will follow the same pattern as that of the domestic flight resumption in the country.

He also announced same in a tweet via his Twitter handle that “glad to announce the resumption of international flights from the 29th of August, 2020. Beginning with Lagos and Abuja as we did with the domestic flight resumption.

Protocols and procedures will be announced in due course. We thank you for your patience.”

He added at the PTF briefing that “just like we did with the domestic (flights resumption), it will start with Lagos and Abuja.

“The protocols, procedures, and processes, will be announced in due course.”

According to the Minister, the resumption will commence Saturday next week at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), in Lagos, and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, in Abuja.

Sirika commended Nigerians for their patience while the ban on international flights was enforced, as he assured that the protocols and procedures for resumption would be announced in due course.

Dr. Sani Aliyu, Coordinator of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19

Nonetheless, in spite of the gladdening news to several consumers of aviation products and services in regard to the August 29 resumption of international flights from Nigeria,

Dr. Sani Aliyu, Coordinator of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Monday declared that date is not sacrosanct.

Aliyu, who made the clarification at the PTF daily briefing Monday, explained that the date would be for consideration of the resumption of flights.

The date is not sacrosanct, but if aviation authorities meet the criteria for resumption on August 29, they would be given the greenlight to resume operations, he affirmed.

The Coordinator of PTF on COVID-19 said: “We will spend a whole day to discuss international travel and how this will be done.

“We are grateful to CACOVID and its partners for helping to support this process, because it would help us to expedite action of the airport.

“And if I may clarify, we said from August 29, we didn’t say on August 29. So, very similar to what we did for the domestic flights.

He further clarified Sirika’s earlier pronouncement: “Don’t come back and say that we promised we will open on August 29, but that date is not sacrosanct, but we will work towards it.

“We will seriously try and deliver it but from August 29 as far as the PTF is concerned, if aviation comes to us and say they are ready from August 29, we will say please go ahead. If they come back on August 28 it is too early.”

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