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FG moves resumption of int’l flights to Sept 5, gives reason

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The federal government has shifted the resumption of international flights billed for Saturday, August 29, to Saturday, September 5. reports that this was announced on Thursday, August 27, by the ministry of aviation during a briefing at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The ministry announced the development on its verified twitter handle, @fmaviationg federal ministry of aviation, Nigeria, apologising to Nigerians over the postponement.

“Breaking: Regret to announce that the international flight resumption earlier scheduled to resume on 29th August has been shifted to 5th September 2020,” the ministry tweeted.

Giving the reason for the postponement of the international flight, the director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt Musa Nuhu, explained that there were non-aeronautical logistics that needed to be put in place before the country’s airspace is opened to international flights.

Nuhu said: “Since the announcement by the honourable minister of aviation a few weeks ago that international flights will resume anytime from 29th of August, the aviation sector has worked assiduously to be ready for this date.

“The aviation sector including the airports is ready to resume on the 29th. However, we have other non-aviation logistics we are still working on mostly to do with the Covid-19 protocols, tests, and online platforms. We need to get this in place so that we will have a smooth and efficient resumption of international flights without difficulties for all the passengers.

“So, for this reason, unfortunately, I have to let you know that the resumption date has been shifted by one week to the 5th of September which is now a sacrosanct date. The initial announcement was anytime from August 29. Now we have fixed a date – 5th of September to ensure that resumption of international flights.

Meanwhile, had previously reported that the federal government gave an update concerning the restrictions of international flights.

It was reported that minister of aviation, Captain Hadi Sirika, made clarifications on the issue on Tuesday, July 22.

Sirika, a former senator, was reacting to reports that the restriction of international flights is now Thursday, October 15 as against the Wednesday, August 19 date previously reported.

In another report, the government urged Nigerians to disregard rumour about the resumption of international flights.

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The chairman of the PTF on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, on Thursday, July 23, during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, described the news as fake.

Mustapha, who is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said the ban on international flights was lifted.

He said it is the duty of Nigerians to change their behaviours with the best protocols, adding that only a well-developed partnership would save humanity.

The SGF noted that the PTF was encouraged by the state governments that have banned festivities on Sallah.

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