COVID-19: No panic over resumption of domestic flights….. Minister

A file photo of Hadi Sirika

By SINL Reporter

Ahead of resumption of domestic flights in the country, the minister of Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika on Thursday allayed fears over Social distance protocol of the COVID-19 Pandemic at the airports.

The minister debunked insinuation that rush hours at the airports may threaten the social distance protocol, assuring that the industry is highly regulated.

Sirika, spoke at the interactive session of the Senate Committe on Aviation held in Abuja.

He explained that to ensure safety of passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry of lately have been following international convention and practices.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Government has announced the resumption of domestic flights in the country.

The Minister of Aviation, announced this in a tweet on Wednesday.

According to him, the Abuja and Lagos airports will resume domestic operations on July 8, while the Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri airports would resume on the 11th.

He said “There is nothing like rush hours, we have to stay safe first, before anything happen, so am sure civil aviation will respond enough to ensure that remain safe.

“So no fear, no panic. The industry is highly regulated, it is one aviation and sure you have seen it from what we have been doing, lately we have been following international convention and practices.

“This will not be different, there is nothing to panic about. We will become physically distant when required”

On whether aircrafts will reduce their capacity when they resume domestic flights because of COVID-19 protocol, the minister emphatically said no, adding that most of the flights are not always full.

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“No, we didn’t say so. Most of the flights are not always full. And secondly, I said we are working with the airlines to come up with the protocol before we open. That will be avail to you in due course” Sirika said.

He was however not specific whether passengers will experience hike in the price of ticket at the resumption of flights.

“Price is not in my hand, but like I said from what we put in place, I do not think that anything significant will happen to affect the propensity to flight”.


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