The federal government has shifted the resumption of international flights from August 29 to September 5.
Musa Nuhu, director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), announced the new date at the briefing of the presidential task force on COVID-19 on Thursday.
Nuhu attributed the one-week extension to some non-aviation logistics.
“Since the announcement by the honourable minister of aviation a few weeks ago that international flights will resume anytime from the 29th of August, the aviation sector has worked assiduously to be ready for this date, and the aviation sector, including the airports are ready to resume on the 29th,” he said.
“However, we have further non-aviation logistics we’re still working on, mostly to do with the COVID-19 protocols, tests, and also the online platform. We need to get these all ready and in place so that we’ll have a smooth and efficient resumption for the international flights without difficulties for all the passengers.
“So, for this reason, unfortunately, I have to let you know the resumption date has been shifted by one week to 5th of September, which is now a sacrosanct date.
“The initial announcement was any time from the 29th. Now, we have fixed a date, 5th of September, to ensure a sacrosanct date for the resumption of international flights. In due course, very shortly, we’ll be announcing the protocols once these logistics are done and we’ll be giving further details.”
Following the confirmation of Nigeria’s first COVID-19 case who flew in from Italy in February, non-essential flight operations have been banned since March as part of efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.