About 33 foreign airlines operating flights into Nigeria may suffer a major blow as the Federal Government says it will in a few days shut the international wings of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt Musa Nuhu in a statement on Thursday announced the closure of the three other international airports in the country. Namely, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano, Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu and the Port Harcourt International Airport Omagwa. Thereby restricting international flights to only Lagos and Abuja airports.
The statement noted that the closure would be until further notice and will take effective from 12am today. Capt Musa Nuhu noted that this was part of precautionary measures taken by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country.
On Friday, the Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika told journalists in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory that the Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha would make the announcement at the appropriate time.
But speaking on Friday, the minister said the Federal Government planned to close every gap that could further spread the COVID-19 in the country.
He said, “Yes, we are going to shut all international airports. Domestic operations will not be disrupted. The shutdown will be in a few days, just to allow the necessary ‘Notice to Airmen’ to be issued accordingly.”
Consequently, the 33 foreign airlines operating flights into Nigeria, according to the statistics from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, might take a financial hit following the closure.
Some of the foreign airlines expected to be affected are British Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, AirFrance, KLM, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, South African Airways, Kenyan Airways, Rwandair, Turkish Airlines, Egypt Air, Royal Air Maroc and Africa World Airlines.