Nigeria bars Lufthansa, KLM, Etihad, others’ entry

Ahead of international flights resumption, the Nigerian government has released a list of international airlines denied entrance into the country.

Air France, KLM, Etihad, Rwandair, Lufthansa, TAAG Angola Airlines, Air Namibia and Royal Air Maroc are airlines denied entrance into the country,” the country’s aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, announced.

Nigeria had in August, vowed to a reciprocity clause by banning flights and airlines from countries that placed similar bans on flights from Nigeria as countries opened their airspace amidst the COVID 19 pandemic.

Sirika, while speaking at the bi-weekly Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing, on Thursday, says only approved airlines will be allowed into the country’s airspace.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammad Buhari had in March, ordered the suspension of international flights to curb the influx of imported cases of the COVID-19 virus in the country.

Local flights in the country resumed about five weeks ago, as the country joined the rest of the world to battle the pandemic.

In light of the announcement, some airlines have also been given approved for operation within the COVID-19 protocols.

These airlines include: British Airways, Delta Airlines, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Egyptair, Virgin Atlantic, Asky, Africa World Airways (AWA), Air Cote-d’Ivoire, Kenya Airways, Emirates, and Turkish airlines.

“We used the ‘foreign carrier operator permit’ which is the requirement by our laws, guidelines by COVID-19 PTF and other guidelines including restrictions that came from other countries which will affect our own operations here at home”, Siriki explains.

“Airfrance and Lufthansa were not approved. The reason is that Swiss visa owners are not allowed entry and the same reason for KLM,” he adds.

The minister also hinted that passengers who fail to present a valid COVID-19 test or refuse to go for a repeat test may be placed on a travel watch list for six months.

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