Nigeria’s minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika has said the federal government will not hurry to resume international flights as whatever decisions to be made would be in the interest of the general public.
He added that Nigeria will not allow some countries to operate international flights to Nigeria.
Addressing journalists at the daily briefing of the presidential task force on COVID-19 on Monday, Sirika said several countries have not opened up for international flight operations and that Nigeria has not received clearance to fly to countries who are already receiving foreign visitors.
Sirika explained that Nigeria has taken a similar stance as the country has not begun to allow international flights.
“On the question about when we are beginning international travels, certainly you are very aware that so many countries had placed a ban on countries that we cannot go even from Nigeria.
“Also Nigeria, of course, will place a ban on other countries that cannot come in here. Everyone is trying to keep safe,” he said.
“These and many other reasons will make us be cautious and study some more and liaise with stakeholders to decide when we will open international flights.
“Within the sector, we want to reopen because we are bleeding and losing money but we have to remain alive first before we make money. Whatever decision we take has to be in the interest of humanity in general.”
The minister also said consultations would also have to be carried out with the World Health Organisation, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and other aviation stakeholders.
Several countries across the world imposed travel restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
On March 18, the federal government announced restriction of flights from 13 countries that had more than 1,000 cases of the coronavirus domestically.
The airports in Kano, Enugu and Port Harcourt were closed on March 21 and the Lagos and Abuja international flights wing were closed on March 23.
Domestic flight operations resumed at the Lagos and Abuja airports on July 8, while Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri airports will reopen on July 11.
Other airports are expected to reopen on July 15.