Ahead of the August 29 resumption of international flights in the country, federal government has said it will reciprocate travel restrictions by countries that have not opened their airspace to Nigeria.
Speaking at the briefing of the presidential task force on COVID-19 on Thursday, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said countries in the European Union will be affected.
Sirika was represented at the briefing by the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Musa Nuhu.
“On the list of countries (that are banned), we are working on the comprehensive list, but the main one that came up is when the EU opened their borders effective 1st July, Nigeria was among the list of 54 countries that were not allowed to enter the EU.
“To my understanding, as the situation changes, they are going to look at the list and change it. But so far, we don’t have any contrary information to that first one that Nigeria is banned from going to the EU.
“So, as we open our airspace, we are going to apply the issue of reciprocity to those (EU) countries,” he said.
The minister said only a few international flights will be allowed at the onset of international flight resumption as test runs of the protocols put in place at the airport to ensure safe operations.
He also said the number of inbound international passengers will be limited to 1,280.
The European Union Commission excluded Nigeria from the list of countries whose nationals will be allowed in the region upon flight resumption on July 1.
Nigeria will reopen its airspace to international flights on August 29. However, flights will be restricted to the Lagos and Abuja airports.