The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Monday announced the dates for the resumption of international flights at three additional airports in the country.
The airports are the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers and the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
Sirika, who announced the dates during the weekly briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, said the Kano airport would be reopened for international flights on April 5 while the service would resume at the Port Harcourt’s airport on April 15.
The international flight operations will resume at the Enugu airport on May 3.
The minister said: “There have been agitations for us to open Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Kano and of course, it takes a tremendous amount of work to ensure this.
“We will do only at a time what will be good for the management of this virus. It is very painful especially for us in civil aviation to have our airports closed and our direct source of income affected as we are finding it extremely difficult to pay salaries.
“So, we shut down the airport with great care and when we shut down the airports, we had to keep them running otherwise the facilities in there will get dilapidated for lack of usage. So, it is in our interest to keep them open but unfortunately, we couldn’t because of our collective health and goods of the country and those that do business with Nigeria.
“Now that we have most of the things in place due to the work by the PTF, we will be opening Enugu airport on May 3, 2021. We will be opening Kano on April 5 and Port Harcourt on April 15 for international flights.”
The Federal Government had in March last year shut down the country’s airports over the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
However, the government gradually ordered the reopening of the airports, initially for domestic flight operations in September last year.
It later approved the reopening of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos; the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja; and two others for the resumption of international flights in October.