Over 15,000 Passengers From UK, China, To Arrive Nigeria Weekly
As international flights resume in Lagos and Abuja airports from Saturday, report has it that there will be about 15,000 passengers flying into the country weekly.
The Federal Government had after shifting the resumption of international flights from August 29 to September 5 noted that only the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos would be opened for operations.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, also said 14 international airlines had been granted approval to operate in the country while eight others were not given approval, for different reasons.
Those given approval to commence flights include British Airways, Middle East Airlines, Delta Airlines, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Egypt Air, Air Senegal, Virgin Atlantic, Asky Airlines, Africa World Airlines, Air Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya Airways, Emirates Airlines and Turkish Airlines.
Those not given approval to operate include Air France, KLM Royal Dutch, Etihad Airways, Rwanda Air, Air Namibia, Royal Air Maroc, Lufthansa and TAAG Angola. It noted that South African Airways and Cabo Verde had not been cleared because their international flights had yet to resume.
It was also gathered that about 15,000 passengers might be arriving in the country weekly through the two airports.
The United Kingdom, the United States and China have been identified as choice destinations for Nigerians. Incidentally, they are countries with high number of coronavirus cases.
A document from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to the airlines, a copy of which was obtained by one of our correspondents, showed that there would be 88 flights to the two airports; 47 flights into the Lagos airport and 41 into Abuja airport weekly.
According to the document, signed by the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, each flight could only carry a maximum of 200 passengers, regardless of the fact that many of the aircraft used by the foreign airlines have an average capacity of about 300 passengers.