COVID-19: Nigerian Government Makes U-turn, Says Domestic Flights Can’t Resume On June 21

June 19, 2020
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The Federal Government has postponed the date for the resumption of domestic flights in the country, saying the June 21st which was earlier scheduled for the aviation industry to restart is no longer feasible.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Musa Nuhu made this known at a Presidential Task Force Briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

Mr Nuhu, who represented the minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the aviation industry “is trying not to be a vector for the mass transmission of the COVID-19 virus.”

“June 21st is not a feasible date to resume domestic operations,” he said.

“The civil aviation authority, despite pressures coming from all quarters, will not approve the start any day until we are sure and we confirm that we are ready to start in a safe, secure, organised and efficient manner. To do otherwise is disastrous for all of us.

“If we open the industry when we are not ready, and we are guilty of spreading coronavirus, God forbid we have any incident, I believe the government will come hard on us and it is going to be counterproductive and disastrous for the industry.

“We are not too far, we are close but there is a need for timing to ensure that we are ready, positively, absolutely ready to start work.”

The NCAA boss said the Authority has been holding talks with airlines, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, and other stakeholders, adding that feedbacks have been received and concerns are being addressed.

This is coming on the heel that Nigeria record its highest COVID-19 daily cases with 745 infections, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 18,480.

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