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Daily Briefing: Nigeria Welcome International Flights in COVID-19 Era

Nigerian government announced on Saturday, September 5, 2020 the reopening of Abuja and Lagos airports for the resumption of international flights.

Government has also adjusted the curfew from 12 midnight to 4am, as it continues the gradual easing of lockdown measures imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The West African nation had suspended domestic and international flights in March in an attempt to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Authorities after easing the national lockdown reopened the airport for domestic flights on July 8 while pressure mounted for the reopening of the airports for international flights.

Government initially fixed last Saturday August 29 for the resumption of international flights but it was further shifted in a bid to fine-tune the protocols put in place to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

The country’s international airports have now been open to British Airways, Delta Airline, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Egyptair, Air Peace, Virgin Atlantic, Asky, Africa World Airways (AWA), Air Cote-D’Ivoire, Kenya Airways, Emirate, and Turkish airlines. However, the international airlines denied flight approval include, Air France, KLM, Etihad, Rwandair, Lufthansa, TAAG Angola Airlines and others.

The first commercial scheduled flight, Middle East Airlines (MEA), arrived Lagos at about 2.20 p.m. from Beirut. British Airways aircraft from London was being expected at about 5 p.m. local time.

Accordingly, more airlines have expressed readiness to begin flight services this week. Emirates has announced that it would resume passenger services to Lagos and Abuja on September 7 and 9 respectively. Ethiopian Airlines will resume Lagos flights on September 8, while Abuja is scheduled for September 7.

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