Following the rising cases of Coronavirus cases in the country, international flights into two major airports in Nigeria has been suspended. READ ALSO: Coronavirus: FG To Shut Down International Wings Of These Airports
With effect from Monday, March 23, 2020, the two international airports, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, Abuja, will remain closed for all international flights, according to a statement by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority Director-General, Musa Nuhu.
Mr Nuhu said the move is in furtherance of measures to contain the rampaging coronavirus.
the statement reads: “Effective Monday 23 March at 2300Z to 23 April at 2300z, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, DNMM, and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, DNAA, will be closed to international flights.”
The directive followed Thursday’s suspension of international flights to major airports that include, Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Akanu IbiamInternational Airport, Enugu; and Port-Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
Consequent to this development, the 33 foreign airlines operating flights into Nigeria, according to the statistics from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, might take a financial hit following the closure.
Some of the foreign airlines expected to be affected are British Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, AirFrance, KLM, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, South African Airways, Kenyan Airways, Rwandair, Turkish Airlines, Egypt Air, Royal Air Maroc and Africa World Airlines.
According to reports, data from the NCAA showed that from January to December 2019, the foreign airlines recorded 15,474 flights into the five international airports in Nigeria with an average of 298 flights weekly.
This is coming barely 24 hours after the International Air Transport Association said the disruption to air travel due to the continued spread of coronavirus would cost Nigeria’s aviation industry over N160.58bn in revenue and 22,200 jobs.
IATA, an umbrella body for 290 airlines globally, also stated that Nigeria would also lose approximately 2.2 million passengers, while also adding that the spread of the virus would negatively impact the aviation industry worldwide.