Aviation

JUST IN: FG lifts ban on Air France, KLM, Lufthansa

*Ministries working to re-open P’H, Kano, Enugu airport to int’s flights

Wole Shadare

The Federal Government has lifted flight bans on Air France, KLM and Lufthansa German Airlines. The three airlines can now resume flight services between Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt to Lagos according to Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, who made the announcement via his verified twitter handle @hadisirka.
This is coming as the minister said, the Ministry of Aviation is working with the Ministry of Health, CACOVID and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to re-open Kano, Port-Harcourt and possibly Enugu airports before the end of the year.
The minister equally gave approval to Qatar Airways to start flights to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The Federal Government had on opening of Lagos and Abuja airports to international flights after over five months of closure occasioned by COVID-19, barred 10 airlines, including Air France, KLM and Lufthansa from operating into Nigeria.
On other criteria used for approving and denying the airlines, Sirika said: “We used the foreign carrier operator permit which is the requirement by our laws, guidelines by COVID-19 Presidential Task Force and other rules, including restrictions that came from other countries which will affect our own operations here at home.
“Airfrance and Lufthansa were not approved. The reason is that Swiss visa’s owners are not allowed entry and the same reason for KLM.
“In making decisions as to who comes, in the wisdom of the PTF and the Ministry of Aviation, we understood that the government has done very well with a low rate of fatality. If you look at other countries, for example, they recorded a lot of fatalities.
“We are over 200 million people and we are still talking about 1,000 deaths. I think we have done very well in fighting this disease (COVID-19).  I think we don’t have any reason whatsoever to disallow Nigerians from traveling.
“What we have done is to review the issues from other countries and what they have done to us. In the case of Britain, they said when we come, they will quarantine us and so, when they come to us too, we will quarantine them.”

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