As international flights which was suspended in the wake of COVID-19 restarts on September 5,2020, the Federal through the Aviation Minister, Senator, Hadi Sirika has announced that 12 international airlines have been approved to fly into the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport(NAA), Abuja.
Some of the airlines listed have according to him have dual designations, as only the Lagos and Abuja Airports will be opened for international operations presently .
This is just as he listed: British Airways, Delta, Emirates, Qatar, AWA, Kenya Airways and Middle East airlines as airlines approved to operate into the Lagos airport.
He made this known while speaking at the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 briefing the at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.
On Airlines approved to operate flights into Abuja Airport are : African World Airlines (AWA), Air Senegal, British Airways, Emirates, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines and Middle East Airlines and Turkish Airlines.
Airlines not given approval to operate into the country by the Federal Government according to Sirika to operate to Lagos and Abuja Airports Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Angolan TAG, Air Namibia and Royal Air Maroc and Virgin Atlantic.
“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 time table 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 approved and allowed entry on 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. Egypt Air approved, allowed entry under Covid-19 protocol.
“Rwand Air not approved. Air Peace, not applicable, it is our own carrier in Nigeria, we thank them. Virgin Atlantic, approved, allowed entry under COVID-19 protocol. Air Namibia, not approved. Royal Air Maroc, not approved. African World Airways, Ghana, approved,” he said.
The development was also confirmed by the Director General of NCAA, Capt. Nuhu Musa.