Nigerian’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Monday announced the immediate resumption of catering services onboard domestic and international flights.
The services were suspended at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as part of measures to limit the spread of the virus.
While catering services were suspended, passengers were offered bottles of water as replacement by some airlines.
Mr Sirika while speaking at the weekly briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 explained that the latest decision was taken in consideration of businesses that have been adversely affected by the suspension.
He noted that the procedures for resumption of the services would be revealed by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and will be in line with international practices.
“Recall that at the beginning of the pandemic, we stopped catering on-board our flights,” he said.
“So, the PTF has decided that this catering service resumes immediately while the process and procedure will be communicated to the airlines via NCAA in due course.”
The minister also noted that the government was committed to the reopening of Kano, Enugu and Port Harcourt airports for international flights.
He said a simulation exercise would be conducted prior to the opening to ascertain the level of preparedness.
“Regarding the Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu that we announced their opening, those dates are sacrosanct,” he said.
“The Kano airport scheduled to commence flight on the 4th of April 2021 as scheduled will continue and a simulation exercise is scheduled to take place a few days before the flight resume operation.”
Mr Sirika earlier announced that Enugu airport will be reopened for international flights on May 3, Kano airport on April 5 and Port Harcourt airport on April 15.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in March 2020 ordered the suspension of international flights to limit the spread of the virus and halt imported cases.
While domestic flights were also suspended, they resumed in September 2020. The Nigerian government later approved the reopening of International flights in batches beginning with Lagos and Abuja international airports.
Nigeria has recorded over 160,000 COVID-19 cases and over 2,000 deaths from the virus. However new daily cases have been low for the past three weeks, suggesting the country has gone past the worst phase of the virus.
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