The Nigerian government made real her threat to retaliate against countries with unfriendly aviation policies last Thursday, when the country released approved airlines that would be allowed into Nigeria’s airspace, as international flights resume September 5.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, revealed the details during the media briefing of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19.
Sirika noted that only the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, would reopen for international travels for now. He also stated that Port Harcourt, Enugu and Kano would join in the near future.
The minister listed Egyptair, Virgin Atlantic, Turkish Airlines, AWA, Kenya Airways and Middle East Airlines as airlines permitted to operate at the Lagos airport. He also listed British Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian, AWA, and Middle East Airlines as airlines allowed to operate in Abuja airport.
Those given the red card, the Minister stated include Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Angolan TAG, Air Namibia and Royal Air Maroc. For now, these airline cannot fly into Nigeria’s airspace
“Now, at this point, it is important that we announce the airlines that are allowed for operations into the country. The ones not approved are Air France. Middle East Airlines is approved for only Lagos (airport). British Airways is approved – allowed entry under Covid-19 protocol.
“The reason for Air France is that tourists business holders are not allowed entry. KLM not approved for the same reason as Air France. Delta Airlines, no restrictions – USA, we have an Open Skies with them and they also allow us in.
“Qatar Airways are allowed and approved under Covid-19 protocol. Etihad, not approved. Ethiopian Airlines allowed entry under Covid-19 protocol. Egyptair approved, allowed entry under Covid-19 protocol.
“Rwandair not approved. Air Peace, not applicable, they are our own carrier in Nigeria, we thank them. Virgin Atlantic, approved, allowed entry under COVID-19 protocol. Air Namibia, not approved. Asky, approved. Royal Air Maroc, not approved. African World Airways, Ghana, approved.
“Air Cote d’Ivoire, approved. Lufthansa, not approved. Kenya Airways approved. Emirates Airlines, approved. Turkish Airlines, approved. Cape Verde not applicable as international flights have not resumed. Angolan TAG, not approved. South African Airways not applicable as international flights are yet to resume,” The minister stated.