FG retaliates, bans EU flights from Nigeria, as airlines resume operations

The Federal Government has said it would not allow flights from European Union as the EU recently banned flights from Nigeria as it eased its lockdown ban on international flights
Emeh Joy

Nigeria will adopt the principle of reciprocity in granting approval to the resumption of airlines' operations into the country as it opens its airspace, the Federal Government said.

The FG explained that what this means is that only airlines from countries that permit flights from Nigeria will be allowed to fly in and out of Nigeria.

It specifically pointed out that airlines from the European Union will not be granted access into Nigeria as the EU recently banned flights and visitors coming from Nigeria.

It was earlier reported that the Council of the European Union opened its borders to 15 countries, which excludes Nigeria.

According to the information as obtained from the EU website, Nigeria was still not part of the countries from where visitors were welcomed to Europe.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika who spoke at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Thursday said Nigeria's position was as a result of the ban placed by some countries on flights from Nigeria.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika spoke at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force saying that Nigeria has taken the decision ban flights from EU because the EU first placed ban on flights from Nigeria when it opened it's borders to international flights

The Minister, who was represented by the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt Musa Nuhu explained that the decision taken was in the interest of Nigerians. He said:

"On the list of countries (that are banned), we are working on the comprehensive list, but the main one that came up is when the EU opened their borders effective 1st July, Nigeria was among the list of 54 countries that were not allowed to enter the EU.

"To my understanding, as the situation changes, they are going to look at the list and change it. But, so far, we don't have any contrary information to that first one is that Nigeria is banned from going to the EU.

"So, as we open our airspace, we are going to apply the issue of reciprocity to those (EU) countries".

Sirika also said that airlines would be notified on all arrangements that have been put in place to ensure that flight resumptions are hitch-free.

He said only a few flights per day would be allowed, for now, adding that they would operate as test runs of the protocols that have been put in place to ensure that international operations resume safely.

The protocols, he said would be made public in due course.

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