The government of Nigeria lifted a flight ban on some European air carriers, clearing the way to resume operations to West Africa’s destination.
The European air carriers such as Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA), Air France, and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines received the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Aviation approval to restart international operations to the country from November 17, 2020, the authority announced in the statement.
According to the ch-aviation.com flight schedule module, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines would be the first EU operator to resume its regular three-weekly flights from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) to Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) on November 24, 2020. The airline planned to increase the frequency of operations to five flights a week starting from December 10, 2020.
Meanwhile, Air France would re-launch its weekly flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to the same destination on December 7, 2020. The airline aims to increase the frequency to four flights per week by December 9. The German operator Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) would resume its five-weekly LOS operations from Frankfurt am Main Airport (FRA) on December 17.
The Federal Ministry of Aviation of Nigeria also noticed that in order to strengthen its national operations, the country might reopen all international airports before the end of 2021. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation confirmed that the Ministry of Health, as well as the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) and the Presidential Task Force of Nigeria, were considering to „reopen Kano (KAN), Port Harcourt (PHC) and Enugu (ENU) airports before the end of the year“.
Nigeria suspended all international flights in September 2020, after the EU had imposed strict Schengen Visa policies on Nigerian travelers coming to member states. Virginie Battu-Henriksson, the EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, explained that the decision was taken as a response to Nigerian authorities continuously failing to play their part in the return and readmission of their nationals staying illegally.
Meanwhile, the country blacklisted Emirates Airlines for the COVID-19 related travel restrictions for citizens of Nigeria imposed by the United Arab Emirates back in March 2020. However, the government of Nigeria reversed its decision on September 30 after the UAE eased the measures back in July 2020.