Ahead of the September 5 re-opening of airports for international flights, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has released the list of the approved airlines for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
According to the list, the airlines approved include: British Airways, Delta Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, Middle East Airline, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airline, WA, Turkish Airline, Virgin Atlantic, Air Peace, Asky, Ghana and Air Cote d’lvoire.
Airlines not approved include: Air France, KLM, Ethiad, RwandAir, Air Namibia, Air Almaroq, Lufthansa, Angola and South Africa Airways.
The minister stated that Lagos airport would welcome British Airways, Delta Airlines, Emirates, Qatar and Kenya Airways on Saturdays, while Ethiopian Air, BA, Egypt Air, Middle East and Turkish Airline would be on ground in Abuja.
Available airlines on Sundays include: Delta, Air Senegal, Virgin Atlantic, Ethiopian, AWA and Turkish, while Abuja airport would receive BA, Egypt Air, Ethiopian, Emirate and AWA.
For Lagos on Mondays, Turkish, Air Senegal, Virgin Atlantic, Qatar, AWA, Kenya Airways and British Airways would be on ground, while BA, Emirates, Ethiopia and AWA would be available in Abuja.
Explaining how the decision was arrived at, Sirika said the available information was based on the Foreign Operator Carrier’s Permit which is statutorily required by law for every airline operating in Nigeria; the COVID-19 protocols by the Presidential Task Force; and other guidelines and restrictions from other countries.
He added that all intending travellers to Nigeria must test negative to COVID-19 by PCR in country of departure and the test of the PCR must be done four days before departure, preferably 72hrs before boarding, noting that PCR would only be accepted from identified laboratories from certain countries.
He said: “All intending passengers are required to register on an online Nigeria International Travel payment portal at http//:nitp.ncdc.gov.ng and also pay for a second repeat test to be done in Nigeria.
“Once payment is completed, passengers will receive an email for selected laboratory of their choice, providing them with the laboratory link to register for the PCR test on the 7th day of their arrival.
“Passengers would be allowed to chose a sample collection centre and an appointment time and date for sample collection.
“A list of private laboratory provided and the sample collection centers will be available on the NCDC website.
“Passengers will also fill the online self declaration form also located the same payment platform and submit online or submit for presentation on arrival.
“They must ensure that the information, contact details provided on the platform are correct and verifiable and can be reached when needed.
“Passengers must inform port health officials on arrival of any changes in their health, state completion of the health self declaration, in other words, take responsibilities.
“Prior to boarding, passengers must upload their COVID-19 negative test result on the payment portal and will have a copy for presentation at the airport.
“Prior to boarding, all travellers will undergo screening for fever and would be questioned for COVID-19 symptoms.
“Passengers with COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to board the flight and airlines must only board passengers with COVID-19 test result done within the stipulated four days.
“Airlines that board passengers without the negative COVID-19 PCR test will be sanctioned as follows:
‘Non-Nigerian airlines will be refused entry and return to country of origin. So, airlines would be made to return the people back to where they boarded from and the cost will be borne by the airline.
Sirika explained that Nigerians would be allowed entry and subjected to compulsory quarantine for 14 days at a government approved facility at the cost of the passengers.
Airlines would be fine $3,500 per passenger for failure to comply with the pre-boarding requirement.
The minister said passengers who fail to submit themselves or declare their PCR test would be placed on watch list for six months and denied foreign travel, assuring that test result would be available within 24 days.
He pointed out that passengers who display COVID-19 symptoms on arrival would not be allowed to self quarantine, but would be placed on institutional quarantine.