Domestic Flight Operations Resume In Lagos And Abuja

Flight operations resume in Abuja. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV, July 8, 2020.

 

Flight operations in Lagos State and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja have resumed after over three months of being shut down following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the turnout of passengers was low as Channels Television monitored activities at the domestic wing of the Murtala International Airport, Lagos.

Passengers were seen wearing face masks, observing social distancing and adhering to other COVID-19 protocols.

It was gathered that only five airlines have been given approval to fly.

 

 

 

Read Also: Domestic Flight Operations Resume In Lagos And Abuja

Meanwhile, in Abuja, passengers were also seen arriving at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to board flights to Lagos.

 

 

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 gave the go-ahead for the commencement of domestic flights following approval by the president.

On July 1, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika announced that the Abuja and Lagos airports will resume domestic operations on July 8, while the Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri airports would resume on the 11th.

Other airports are also expected to resume operations on the 15th.

 

 

Sirika, however, noted that a date for the international airports will be announced in due course. See more photos here.

Aviation Minister Lists Conditions For Reopening Of Domestic Flights

A file photo of the Minister of Aviation. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika on Monday listed some conditions which are currently being considered before the final reopening of domestic flights following weeks of lockdown.

Sirika listed the conditions during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

He said following the directive of the Federal Government for domestic flights to prepare to resume operations June 21, technical and health factors will be considered.

READ ALSO: Domestic Flights May Resume June 21 – FG

“Regarding the tentative date for reopening of domestic flights from 21st of June, the explanation is that, this is an industry that is highly regulated, it borders on safety and efficiency.

“On the technical aspect, there are aircraft that have been parked for a few months and not been run. We want to ensure that between now and that time, these aeroplanes are good and safe to fly.

“The maintenance for aircraft is either usage or calendar time and there are protocols to the use of such aircraft. So, the airline industry needs to be able to bring those machines to safe operations,” he said.

Sirika added that on the issue of flight crews and carrier crew, efforts are being made to ensure that they get their licence valid again for operations.

He noted further that the medical aspect also needs to be considered as every pilot has a licence which must state that he is fit and able to carry out operations.

According to the Aviation Minister, even the airport needs to be prepared to adopt the new way of life which must reflect social distancing.

“Even the airport where all of these activities will be done needs to be prepared to get ready to accept this new way of air travel,” Sirika said.

The Minister concluded that, although the aviation sector is the worst hit by the COVID-19 lockdown, caution must be taken to ensure reopening in a very orderly and organised manner, “so that we will achieve the intent and purpose of air travel which is safety, efficiency and security.”

Ayade Asks FG To Lift Ban On Domestic Flights

Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade has called on the Federal Government to lift the ban on domestic flights to allow local businesses to thrive.

Ayade while inspecting the ongoing asphalting of the dualised Odukpani-Calabar highway in the state on Sunday told journalists that the ban on domestic flights for the next four weeks will deal a great blow on local businesses and affect the nation’s economy negatively.

READ ALSO: Allow Healthy People To Work – Ayade Asks FG To Discontinue Total Lockdown

“We want to plead with Mr President to kindly review the option of keeping the Nigerian airways closed for another four weeks.

“Hotels are dying and laying off workers. Food suppliers and vendors are laying off workers. An additional four weeks will be a great blow and it will be difficult for some businesses to survive.

“As we continue to lock the domestic airports for another four weeks, what we are going to have in terms of economic loss, and in terms of social delinquency, the associated moral and social tension that will come with it, will be just too huge for the country to bear,” he said.

Ayade said rather than ban domestic flights, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) should devise strict guidelines to enable the aviation sector to continue to operate without increasing the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

“The country is awash with massive unemployment. NCDC should come up with a policy to keep our people safe while we let our domestic businesses thrive.

“We can still be safe while allowing the internals of Nigeria to run. We can do so by allowing the domestic airlines to start flying,” he added.

The Federal Government had earlier on May 6 imposed an additional four-week ban on flight operations across the country as a measure to check the spread of COVID-19.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika while making the announcement said the aviation sector was recording huge losses as a result of the lockdown, adding that many airlines would not survive the economic loss as a fallout of COVID-19.