No fixed date yet on Nigeria’s resumption of international flights, minister says

FILE PHOTO: Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s minister of state on aviation. / Reuters

Nigeria has not yet determined a date for the resumption of international flights, according to the Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika.

Sirika was responding to speculation caused by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) issuing a routine 90-day Notices to Airmen (NOTAM) which many interpreted to mean a resumption of international flights in October.

A notice to airmen is a notice filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight, according to local media.

Sirika also hinted that it was possible for international flights to resume before October.

“International Flight resumption date is not October. NAMA just issued a routine 90 day Notices to Airmen (NOTAM). In liaison with Health, Foreign Affairs & PTF COVID-19, we will announce the agreed date, regardless of the ban by Europe, UAE etc. May be earlier than October,” Sirika tweeted.

At the beginning of July, Sirika announced that a date for the resumption of international flights will be announced in due course.

At the time, he also announced that domestic flights in Africa’s most populous country will resume on July 8 after suspension in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigeria’s airports remain closed to all international commercial flights with the exception of passenger flights which evacuate people or repatriate Nigerian citizens.

Flights for essential services, such as the delivery of food supplies and items for humanitarian use, are also allowed to operate.

In May, the Nigerian government seized a plane belonging to a UK company for what it said was a violation of regulations after it allegedly conducted a commercial flight despite being given approval for humanitarian operations.