Six airlines resume flight July 8 - THE NATION
By Kelvin Osa Okunbor
Six domestic carriers: Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Air Peace, DANA Air, AZMAN Air and Max Air are set to resume flight operations July 8, 2020.
Their resumption follows their compliance with the safety, health and other guidelines rolled out by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Checks on their websites by The Nation confirmed their readiness for flight operations such as Lagos – Abuja, Abuja – Lagos and other routes.
Information gleaned from the websites of these carriers show that passengers will be paying nothing less than N33,000.00 on the economy cabin.
In a statement at the weekend, Arik Air said it will be resuming flight operations following the Federal Government’s decision to re-open Lagos and Abuja airports.
Its Managing Director, Captain Roy Ilegbodu said the carrier will be operating three daily flights from Lagos to Abuja in the first phase of the restart while Port Harcourt will be added to the schedule from Saturday, July 11, 2020 when the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa is reopened for operations.
He said: “Passengers have been assured of their safety and well-being at every stage of their flight as the airline has put various measures in place in line with COVID-19 health protocols as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Passengers are advised to arrive at the airport three hours before scheduled departure times so as to have ample time to undergo all security and health protocols before flight. Furthermore, all passengers are required to come properly kitted with their face masks”.
Arik Air Chief Executive Officer, Captain Roy Ilegbodu elaborated: “We are ready to fly our esteemed customers again. All preparations have been made to make flying in this extraordinary period in the world safe and pleasurable. Arik has worked actively with aviation agencies for an effective re-start of the industry and also ensure that agreed health measures are effectively implemented”.
Air Peace on its part said it will operate three flights on the Lagos – Abuja route as well as return flights on the same route.
DANA Air on its part said it will operate flights but did not state the number of rotations. According to information gleaned on the website of AZMAN Air, the carrier said it will operate two flights out of the Lagos Airport into Abuja, while it operates a lone flight on the Abuja – Lagos rotation.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has cautioned domestic carriers not to violate the terms of the protocols handed over to them for restart.
Its Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu who made this known at a webinar coordinated by the authority said: “All stakeholders must meet the protocols set by the NCAA. If you do not meet, you are not granted permit to start.
“Some airlines will be given approval to start. Not all airlines and airports will start.”
Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Yadudu who also spoke on security at the airports said the closed-circuit televisions installed are effective.
“We have CCTVs across our airports and have proven to be effective.
The Managing Director of Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi commended the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu on efforts made to get airports ready for the restart.
Only last week, FAAN released new procedural guidelines for air travelers and other airport users. The new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is aimed at protecting all stakeholders and preventing further spread of theCovid-19 virus.
According to its spokesperson, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu: “All passengers must arrive at the airport properly kitted with their face masks on.
“They must also ensure a minimum of one point five meters physical distance. Aviation Medical/Port Health personnel would screen each passenger and ensure the use of face masks.
“Hand sanitizers would be provided for passengers before entrance, at the waiting halls/lounges and pre-boarding gates, all footwear would be disinfected and sanitized by foot mats placed at all entrances to the terminal building.”