‘Aug 29 int’l flight resumption date not sacrosanct’

The Coordinator of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, says the Aug. 29, resumption of international flights, as announced at the PTF COVID-19  briefing, is not sacrosanct.

Aliyu, who made the clarification, at the PTF on COVID-19 briefing on Monday in Abuja, explained that the date would be for consideration of resumption of flights.

According to him, Aug. 29 is not sacrosanct but if aviation authorities meet the criteria for resumption on the 29th, they will be given the green light to resume.

“We are grateful to CACOVID and it’s partners for helping to support this process, because it would help us to expedite action of the airport.

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“And if I may clarify, we said from  August 29th, we didn’t say  on August 29th. So, very similar to what we did for the domestic flights.

Passengers disembarking from a BA flight

“Don’t come back and say that we promised we will open on the 29th, but that date is not sacrosanct; but we will work towards it.

“We will seriously try and deliver it but from the 29th as far as the PTF is concerned, if aviation comes to us and say they are ready from the 29th, we will say please go ahead. If they come back on the 28th, it is too early.”

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Woleshadarenews reports that the minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika had earlier said that International flights, which were suspended by the nation’s Aviation authorities in the country as a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic globally, would resume August, 29, 2020.

Sirika said the Nigeria’s international airports had reached advanced stages of preparedness for the resumption of international flight operations.

The minister disclosed that like it was done during the resumption of domestic flights across the country, the international flights would commence with the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos.

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Emphasis, he said, would be placed on the observation of all the safety and technical guidelines as prescribed by global and health authorities, which would be communicated in due course.

Wole Shadare