International Flights to Nigeria Resume after five Months
After five-month shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on Saturday, Murtala Muhammed International Airport received the first scheduled international flight.
After one week extension, the federal government declared September 5 as the exact date to reopen airports for international flights starting with Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport and MMIA.
Before reopening, strict COVID-19 measures were put in place by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and are supposed to be followed by all airlines and passengers.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 released guidelines and requirements for all departing and arriving passengers including the negative PCR test.
After re-opening, the first flight was from Beirut, Lebanon and landed at the airport at 2:18 pm with 17 crew members and 222 passengers.
The Regional Manager for South-West FAAN, Mrs Victoria Shina-Aba hosted a press conference and said that the airport reopened after five months and 13 days since it was closed to international flights. She added on that during the lockdown, MMIA processed 1404 cargo flights and 192 special flights.
More measures are currently put in place to boost the travelers’ confidence and as well curb the spread of the COVID-19 Virus.
She said a lot of measures had been put in place to boost the confidence of travelers and curb the spread of COVID-19. Departing passengers are advised to come at the airport on time for several checkups before allowed for travel.
There are several gates demarcated at the airport. The first gate is for crew and staff only, B and C are for passengers. There is another gate for special and elderly people.
All these gates are provided with water for hand-washing, bag sanitizing stations, temperature guns and infra-red cameras that capture many people at the same time. All passengers without face masks are not allowed in. Those with temperatures that are higher than the normal are taken to special gazzeted places for deep tests.
Markings are everywhere to ensure social distancing and FAAN staff are always available to disinfect all objects that are touched by passengers. For now, fly emirates assured the nation of resuming its services to Lagos on September 7 and Abuja on 9 September 2020.
Flights to Lagos will operate four times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) and those to Abuja will operate three times per week (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday). Another airline to resume flights to Nigeria is Ethiopian Airlines (Abuja on September 7) and (Lagos 8th September).