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FG bans Lufthansa, Air France, KLM, Etihad, others

…clears BA, Delta, Emirates, Qatar, Turkish, Ethiopian, Virgin
NAMA, NCAA issue NOTAM circular for int’l flights’ resumption

As the Federal Government opens her airspace for international flights from tomorrow, it has announced a ban on Air France, KLM,Lufthansa, Etihad, Air Rwanda and Air Namibia, among others. Minister of Aviation,Hadi Sirika, explained that KLM and Air France were not approved to fly into the country because those with tourist visas are not allowed entry.

Speaking at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID- 19 at the international wing of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Sirika said all avia-tion preparations and COVID- 19 protocols have been perfected and the airports were set for reopening. The minister said there is no going back on the September 5 date for resumption of international flights as all preparations have been completed. Those allowed to fly with appropriate COVID-19 protocols are British Airways, Delta, Emirates, Qatar, Middle East, Turkish, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, among others.

The minister further noted that intending passengers must register online, pay for COVID-19 test fee and upload the COVID- 19 negative result not older than 72 hours before boarding. While warning against sharp practices, he said any airline caught with passengers without COVID-19 negative result would pay a $3,500 fine for each passenger and the passenger returned if he or she was a foreigner. Giving more insights into the reasons for ban and the principle of reciprocity being applied to some countries, the minister said Nigeria was simply following what each country has done to her. He said the country will go ahead and implement the principle of reciprocity to all countries that have banned flights from Nigeria.

The principle means all countries that have banned flights from Nigeria will also have planes from their countries banned from entry into Nigeria. Some of the countries, which have already banned flights from Nigeria are in the European Union (EU) as the EU included Nigeria on the banned countries on the first of July, 2020 when they opened their airspace.

Before the commencement of the briefing, the PTF team had undertaken an inspection of the airport, which have been adequately marked for social distancing, with necessary signals placed across the airport. Hand sanitizers, water for hand washing and all necessary non-pharmaceutical protocols have been installed at the airports in readiness for the resumption of flights.

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