Nigeria Places Ban On Major European Airlines As It Invokes Reciprocity Clause

Nigerian government has released the list of international airlines denied approval to operate in the country ahead of the resumption of international flights.

The ban includes major airlines European such as Air France, KLM, and Lufthansa.

Other operators covered by the ban and denied entrance into the country are Etihad, Rwandair, , TAAG Angola Airlines, Air Namibia, and Royal Air Maroc according to the aviation minister, Hadi Sirika.

Nigeria had in August vowed to implement a reciprocity clause by banning flights and airlines from countries that put similar bans on flights from Nigeria as nations open their airspace amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Sirika, while speaking at the bi-weekly Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing, on Thursday, said only approved airlines will be allowed into the country’s airspace.

President Muhammad Buhari had in March ordered the suspension of international flights to curb the influx of imported cases of the COVID-19 virus in the country.

While local flights were also suspended, they resumed about five weeks ago as the country joined the rest of the world to battle the pandemic.

Nigeria recorded its first case of COVID-19 in an Italian who arrived in the country late February.

Since then, over 54,000 infections have been recorded leading to over 1,000 deaths.

Mr Sirika also said some airlines have been given approvals to operate within the COVID-19 protocols.