The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has denied approval to Aero Contractors, Azman Air and Max Air Limited to resume operations.

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This was disclosed in a webinar organised by the NCAA on Tuesday to update stakeholders on the industry restart plan for flights resumption.

The Chairman, NCAA COVID-19 Committee, Godwin Balang, revealed that only five airlines were permitted to restart operations on Wednesday.

The Five airlines are Air Peace, Arik Air, Dana Airlines, Ibom Air and Overland Airways Limited.

Aero Contractors, Azman Air and Max Air Limited were given a “No” regarding the approval to restart today.

On the part of unscheduled aircraft operators, Allied Air Limited, ANAP Business Jets and Bristow Helicopters had so far complied with the NCAA regulations.

All domestic airports scored 87.2 per cent. However, only Murtala Muhammed International Airport, GAT; Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MM2; Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja were given the approval to restart.

The Director-General of the NCAA, Capt Musa Nuhu, had last week stressed that airlines and airports must meet the regulator’s conditions before restarting operations.

He added that the Minister of Aviation’s announcement on flight resumption was not enough reason for flights to commence.

He had said, “I keep saying that even if you are listed to start on the day and you do not meet the requirements set by NCAA, you are not getting the DG’s approval to start.

“That goes to the airport, the airlines, and service providers. We have to be ready and be sure each and every one component of the system is ready to join the network before we authorise them.”

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Airlines Resumption

Four airlines have announced plans to conduct flights around the country. The four airlines are Overland Airways, Aero Contractors, Azman Air and Ibom Air.

Overland Airways said in a statement on Tuesday that it would resume flight services on July 15, 2020.

The Chief Operating Officer of the airline, Mrs Aanu Benson, guaranteed customers that safety precautions would be adhered to as it prepared to resume flight operations.

She said, “Overland Airways assures our esteemed customers of pleasures of flying as we are implementing safety and health protocols advised by health and regulatory authorities.

“These protocols include, but are not limited to, the taking of passengers’ temperature readings, ensuring the wearing of face masks and other protective equipment by passengers and staff on board our aircraft, maintenance of physical distance at the check-in and boarding lines, and regular disinfection of our aircraft.”

The airline said flight operations would resume on Abuja, Akure, Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin and Jalingo routes adding that it would extend the validity of passengers’ unused tickets affected by the pandemic.

Aero Contractors said it would resume flight operations on July 9, 2020.

A statement from the airline said its staff had been trained in line with COVID-19 protocols to help passengers travel safely.

It said, “As we updated you through a series of messages during the lockdown, we have trained and retrained all our staff that will process your flight from the point of ticket purchase, check-in, through to your baggage handling, security check, boarding, in-flight, disembarkation and baggage retrieval on arrival.

“We have maintained, sanitised and disinfected our airplanes thoroughly. We are also making available alcohol-based hand sanitisers at our counters for your use, and infrared thermometers for temperature checks. All safety preconditions as stipulated by the World Health Organisation and aviation authorities are being observed.”

Ibom Air notified its customers of its plan to resume flight operations on July 8, 2020, starting with Lagos to Abuja return flights.

It said in a statement that services between Uyo and Lagos and Uyo and Abuja would restart July 15, 2020, and assured passengers of safety.

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Azman Air also revealed that it plans to resume operations on July 8, remarking that it would operate flights from Murtala Mohammed Airport and Lagos Airport Domestic Terminal as well as Nnamdi Azikiwe International, Abuja.

The airline, in a tweet, promised to resume operations from Mallam Aminu Kano International Aiport, Kano; Maiduguri Airport, Borno; Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers State, and Sam Mbakwe Aiport in Imo.

Passengers were advised to use facemasks, observe social distancing and carry a tissue in case they needed to sneeze or cough while boarding.

The airline stressed that food would not be served but bottled water would be provided during the flight.

It also asked passengers to avoid seats marked on the flight.