As Nigeria plans for the resumption of international flights on Saturday September 5, September 5, the Federal Government has barred some airlines from operating in Nigeria.
Speaking at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Thursday, September 3, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the international airlines denied flying approval include Air France, KLM, Etihad, Rwandair, Lufthansa, TAAG Angola Airlines and others.
According to Sirika, the airlines that have been given licence to operate include Middle-East, British Airways, Delta Airlines, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Egyptair, Air Peace, Virgin Atlantic, Asky, Africa World Airways (AWA), Air Cote-d’Ivoire, Kenya Airways, Emirate, and Turkish airlines.
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. Cabo Verde not applicable as international flights are not resumed. Angolan TAG, not approved. South African Airways not applicable as international flights are yet to resume.” he said
The Minister also announced that passengers who undergo COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests more than four days before their departure date will not be allowed to enter the country. According to him, all COVID-19 tests must have been done within 72 hours before the departure date.
“All intending travellers to Nigeria must have tested negative for COVID-19 by PCR in country of departure before boarding. This has not changed,” he said.
The PCR test must be within four days before departure and we prefer 72 hours pre-boarding and note that in certain countries, the PCR test will only be accepted from identified laboratories.
Tests done more than four days before departure are not valid. This is very important. And persons will not be allowed to board; but for the 72-hours minimum, this is advisory and will not preclude boarding.” he said
The international airspace was shut in March as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country. As Nigeria plans towards returning to normalcy.