International commercial flight operations resumed yesterday in the country with the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, welcoming the first set of carriers in the COVID-19 era.
The first commercial scheduled flight, Middle East Airlines (MEA), arrived Lagos at about 2.20 p.m. from Beirut. British Airways aircraft from London was being expected at about 5 p.m. local time.
Similarly, more airlines have expressed readiness to begin flight services this week. Emirates has announced that it would resume passenger services to Lagos and Abuja on September 7 and 9 respectively. Ethiopian Airlines will resume Lagos flights on September 8, while Abuja is scheduled for September 7.
The men of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Aerodrome and Rescue Fire Fighters ceremonially welcomed the MEA aircraft yesterday, with a water cannon demonstration.
On arrival, passengers presented their documents, including mandatory COVID-19 PCR test results for screening by the Port Health services officials while the travelling papers, passports and visas where handled by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
The first International flight, Middle East Airline (MEA), from Lebanon landed at Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos at 2:27p.m local time, after five-month lockdown occasioned by COVID-19 : MEA passengers undergoing screening at MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos … yesterday
Speaking on the procedures, the Comptroller NIS MMIA, Abdullahi Usman, said the process was seamless and passengers were cooperative when the officials requested travelling documents.
The Airport Manager, Victoria Shin-aba, said while the airport was shut to commercial scheduled flights, the airport recorded over a hundred special and essential flights approved by the Federal Government.
Shin-aba said they would continue to improve on the procedures for facilitation and appealed to Nigerians to stay off the airport terminal if they are not travelling.
According to schedule, a total of three flights were expected in Lagos on day one.
Emirates’ resumption of flights to both Lagos and Abuja takes the airlines’ African network to 13 destinations, as the airline keeps helping its customers to travel safely and confidently, implementing industry-leading health and safety measures at all points of the travel journey.
Flights to Lagos will operate four times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Flights to/from Abuja will operate three times weekly on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The addition of the Nigerian cities expands the airline’s network to 84 destinations.
Passengers travelling from both cities in Nigeria to the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific can enjoy safe and convenient connections via Dubai, and customers can stopover or travel to Dubai as the city has re-opened for international business and leisure visitors.
Ensuring the safety of travellers, visitors, and the community, COVID-19 PCR tests are mandatory for all inbound and transit passengers arriving to Dubai (and the UAE), including UAE citizens, residents and tourists, irrespective of the country they are coming from.