The Federal Government of Nigeria has made good its promise of banning foreign airlines whose country placed a travel ban on its nationals from travelling to those countries due to coronavirus pandemic.
The government has applied the principle of reciprocity banning all airlines from the European Union and including Rwandair and some African airlines, while it allowed middles east carrier, Emirates into the country.
According to nigerianflightdeck.com, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika listed fourteen (14) airlines approved to fly into the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, (Some having dual designation) the only two aerodromes open for international operations for now.
Sirika spoke today during a briefing of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, listed BA, Delta, Emirates, Qatar, AWA, Kenya Airways and Middle East airlines as airlines permitted to operate into the Lagos airport.
While he also listed British Airways, Emirates, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, African World Airlines (AWA), and Middle East Airlines and Turkish Airlines as airlines allowed operating into the Abuja airport.
He however reeled out another list of airlines not approved to fly into these airports including Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Angolan TAG, Air Namibia and Royal Air Maroc.
Sirika said, “Abuja and Lagos will be open for operations on the 5th of September. We are satisfied with the preparations so far, we don’t anticipate any hitches before we go over the procedures on what has changed I would quickly go over the airlines and the timetable.
“Saturday for Lagos there will be BA, Delta, Emirates, Qatar, AWA, Kenya Airways and Middle East airlines while for Abuja we have BA, Egypt Air, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, AWA, Middle East Airlines and Turkish. And then we will release to you the time table for the remaining days to say time.
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.
He added that Rwanda Air, Royal Air Maroc, TAAG and Air Namibia are not approved due to noncompliance with Foreign Carrier Operating Permit (FCOP).
“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. 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.
The government included Rwandair in its exclusion list because it omitted certification form adding that it will be added when they fit out the forms.
It stated that airlines can only come in with maximum of 200 passengers but can carry as many passengers as Possible. The government pointed out that the curfew in the country was extended to 12midnight in order to allow airline passengers get home. It added that the roster is for the first week of resumption noting that it will be updated periodically.