Coronavirus

Nigeria to resume international flights following five-month halt

Nigeria is preparing to resume international flights into and out of its airports starting 5 September, according to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Nigeria to resume international flights following five-month halt
ANNIE RISEMBERG AFP

The head of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Musa Nuhu, revealed at a news conference of the task force on Covid-19 that international flights to and from Nigeria are to be resumed as of 5 September following the suspension that lasted for almost five months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

International flights have been on hold since 23 March as authorities tried to get a hold of the spread of the virus and prevent new carriers of the infection from entering the country. International travel had been expected to resume on 29 August but was eventually postponed for a further week.

The government announced that the first four international flights allowed into the country would land in the Abuja and Lagos airports, whereas the countries these flights would be coming from have yet to be declared.

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Nigeria's minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika, confirmed that the resumption of international flights would be accompanied by adherence to safety protocols to ensure the progress made by the country in its battle with Covid-19 was maintained, adding that the move could be considered reasonable now especially after no in-flight infections had been reported since restarting domestic flights on 8 July.

Nigerian authorities require that passengers undergo Covid-19 testing prior to boarding their flights headed to the country and pay for another test upon arrival. In addition, passengers who attempt to skip either of the tests would be placed on the travel watch list.

Nigeria will also impose a fine of 3,500 dollars on any airline that allows carriers of the infection onboard their flights.