Nigeria Airlines will resume domestic flights next week after months of planes being grounded due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This was disclosed in Wednesday by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, explaining on July 8, some domestic flights would take off again, including flights from Abuja and Lagos.
According to him, “I am glad to announce that Abuja and Lagos airports will resume domestic operations on the 8th of July, 2020.
“Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri to resume on July 11.
“Other airports will resume operations on July 15.
“Date for international to be announced in due course. Bear with us, please.”
Ahead of the domestic flight resumption, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on June 27 held dry run simulation exercises at domestic terminals of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos respectively.
The exercise, which was aimed at assessing the readiness of the airports for reopening post-COVID-19 was witnessed by Sirika, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnibe Mamora, Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force, Dr. Aliyu Sanni, the Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu, FAAN Managing Director, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, Chairman, Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema, among several other stakeholders.
The simulation exercise began in Abuja as passengers were taken through the post-COVID-19 departure protocols enroute Lagos on a Boeing 737 Aerocontractors flight. The team from Abuja arrived at the General Aviation Terminal, Lagos at about 1200hours. Passengers on board the flight were facilitated in line with the normal procedural order of arrival facilitation.
In his remarks, Sirika expressed his delight at the level of facilities on ground. He added that going by the measures that have been put in place, the airports are about 90 per cent ready to reopen.
He noted that domestic passengers would now have to get to the airports like three hours before departure, while international passengers would be expected to get to the airports about five hours before their flight. This is to ensure that all protocols, including safety markings, social distancing, hand sanitising, baggage decontamination, scanning of personal items, among others are complied with forthwith.
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