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International flights may resume before October, Aviation minister says

Hadi Sirika says international flights may resume soon regardless of travel bans in certain places.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has announced that Nigeria may reopen its airspace to international flights before October 2020.

Nigeria closed its airspace in March as one of measures implemented to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which has disrupted the global economy.

Airports were reopened earlier in July for the resumption of domestic flights, but no date has been given by the Federal Government for when international flights will resume.

Media reports earlier on Tuesday, July 21, had indicated that international flights would not resume until October, based on a notice written by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

However, Sirika announced on his Twitter account that the notice has no bearing on the decision of the Federal Government, and that an earlier date may be announced.

“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,” he posted.

The devastation of the coronavirus around the world has ensured that many countries are still hesitant about receiving foreign visitors due to the highly infectious nature of COVID-19.

For example, Nigeria is one of the countries from where travellers are not allowed to fly into Europe, due mostly to its number of cases.

37,225 cases of the novel disease have been detected in the country, as of July 20, with 801 fatalities recorded.