The Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, says the August 29 date for resumption of international flights as announced at the PTF COVID-19 briefing was not sacrosanct.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had also in a tweet on his Twitter handle, confirmed August 29 for resumption of international flights.
Aliyu, who made the clarification at the PTF on COVID-19 briefing on Monday in Abuja, explained that the date would be for consideration of resumption of flights.
According to him: “August 29 is not sacrosanct but if aviation authorities meet the criteria for resumption on the 29th, they will be given the green light to resume.
“We will spend a whole day to discuss international travel and how this will be done.
“We are grateful to CACOVID and its partners for helping to support this process because it would help us to expedite action of the airport.
“And if I may clarify, we said from the 29th of August, we didn’t say on the 29th of August.
“So, very similar to what we did for the domestic flights.
“Don’t come back and say that we promised we will open on the 29th, but that date is not sacrosanct, but we will work towards it.
“We will seriously try and deliver it, but from the 29th as far as the PTF is concerned, if aviation comes to us and say they are ready from the 29th, we will say please go ahead.
“If they come back on the 28th, it is too early.”
Earlier, Sirika had said that international flights, which were suspended by the nation’s Aviation authorities in the country as a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic globally, would resume August 29, 2020.
Sirika said Nigeria’s international airports had reached advanced stages of preparedness for the resumption of flight operations.
The minister disclosed that like it was done during the resumption of domestic flights across the country, the international flights would commence with the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
Emphasis, he said, would be placed on the observation of all the safety and technical guidelines as prescribed by global and health authorities, which would be communicated in due course.