International Flights: FG Lifts Ban On Lufthansa, Air France And KLM

File photo of an Airbus A-320 of the Lufthansa airline PHOTO: INA FASSBENDER / AFP

 

The Lufthansa, Air France/KLM have been given the approval by the Federal Government to resume operations into Nigeria.

This was announced by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, in a tweet on Tuesday.

The Minister in the tweet also hinted at the possible reopening of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Port Harcourt International Airport, and Enugu Airport before the end of the year.

He added that Qatar Airways has been granted approval to resume flights to Abuja.

“We are working with Ministry of Health, CACOVID & The PTF to open Kano, Port Harcourt & possibly Enugu airports before the end of the year. Also Lufthansa, Air France/KLM have been given go-ahead to resume. Qatar Airways is approved to start Abuja. Thank you for your patience,” the Tweet read.

 

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 had earlier in September restricted 10 airlines from operating in the country when international flight resumed.

At the time, Sirika said Air France and KLM airlines were not granted approval for flight operations because “tourist visa holders are not allowed entry” in the airlines’ originating countries.

KLM Set To Slash Up To 2,000 Jobs Over Coronavirus

In this file photo A Boeing 747 commercial plane of KLM airline lands at Shipol airport behind spectators watching the European Athletics Championships at the Olympic stadium in Amsterdam on July 6, 2016. FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
In this file photo A Boeing 747 commercial plane of KLM airline lands at Shipol airport behind spectators watching the European Athletics Championships at the Olympic stadium in Amsterdam on July 6, 2016. FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

 

Dutch national airline KLM said Friday it will cut up to 2,000 jobs as it battled the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak, and announced other cost-cutting measures.

Chief executive Pieter Elbers said KLM — which has around 33,000 employees — will also ask personnel to work shortened hours, while grounding its fleet of six Boeing 747s from April 1.

“In the coming months we’ll reduce 1,500 to 2,000 jobs to mean that not only in the coming weeks, but in the coming months we will have fewer colleagues,” Elbers said in a video message posted on KLM’s website.

The airline’s top official said the job cuts mainly included part-time workers, those destined for retirement and natural attrition.

“We believe this is adequate to ensure that there are no other forced retrenchments,” Elbers said.

The Dutch carrier, which merged with Air France in 2004, predicted that flight numbers would drop by 20 percent in March and 30 percent in April as the airline suspended flights to China and Italy as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Air-France KLM warned Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak will hit its business harder in the coming months after February passenger numbers fell by 0.5 percent.

Last month, Air France-KLM put the coronavirus cost to the airline at 150-200 million euros up to April.

“A lot has happened in the last five days,” Elbers said as the number of cases globally climbed to 140,720 with 5,347 deaths across 124 countries and territories.

AFP

KLM To Halt Flights Over Strait Of Hormuz After Drone Downing

This combination of file pictures created on July 23, 2018, shows US President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting on July 18, 2018, at the White House in Washington, DC; and a handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency shows President Hassan Rouhani giving a speech on Iranian TV in Tehran. PHOTO: Nicholas Kamm / AFP / IRANIAN PRESIDENCY

 

Dutch airline KLM said Friday it has suspended its flights over the Strait of Hormuz after Iran shot down a US drone in the strategic region.

“Safety is the top priority for KLM,” it said in a statement.

“We closely follow all developments that may be related to the safety of airspace 24/7 and we organise the operation in such a way that the safety of the flights is guaranteed.

“The incident with the drone is reason not to fly over the Strait of Hormuz for the time being. This is a precautionary measure.”

Iran’s downing of the drone — which Washington insists was above international waters but Iran says was within its airspace — has seen tensions between the two countries spike further after a series of attacks on tankers the US has blamed on Tehran.

AFP

Nations Stopping Flight To Tel Aviv

PLASMA_MALAYSIA_AIRLINES_FIXEDThe United States and European airlines have suspended flights to Israel’s Ben Gurion airport after a rocket landed one mile away.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered three US carriers that fly to Israel – Delta, United and US Airways – to halt flights for 24 hours.

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) also said it “strongly recommends” that airlines should avoid operating to and from Tel Aviv.

The suspension prompted Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to ask the US to renew flights to Israel.

Israel Airport Authority also said the U.S. companies made the decisions on their own, and it urged them to reconsider, saying the airport was safe. “There is no reason that American carriers should stop flying to Israel and thus give a prize to terror,” airport authority said.

Even before the announcement, Swiss, Germanwings and Austrian Airlines said they had decided to suspend flights to Israel for two days while KLM also said they had suspended flights ahead of the EASA’s advisory.

The halt in service of the airlines comes less than a week after Israel began a ground operation in Gaza, and as airlines around the world re-think their flight paths over conflict areas in the wake of the crash of Malaysia airlines flight Mh17 in eastern Ukraine.