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COVID-19: Airports to remain closed for another two weeks, says FG

COVID-19: Airports to remain closed for another two weeks, says FG
April 20
21:06 2020
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The federal government says has extended the closure of airports for an additional two weeks.

Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, said the extension is as a result of the lockdown of Abuja and Lagos.

Writing via his Twitter handle, Sirika, however, said the measure is subject to review, and only applies to normal operations.

“As a result of the extension on lockdown by Mr President it is no longer possible for us to open our airspace and airports for normal operations by the 23rd April 2020,” he said.

“They will remain closed for a further 2 weeks. This subject to review as appropriate, please.”

The federal government had announced the closure of Lagos and Abuja airports about a month ago to curb the spread of coronavirus.

States across the country followed suit, shutting down all their entry points including airports.

At the time, the country had about 22 patients infected with the virus.

The number has since grown to 627 as at Sunday; 170 of the patients have recovered while 21 have died.

In a statement on Monday, Dana Air had said it would leave middle row seats unoccupied to give customers a sense of security when operations resume.

The airline estimated that domestic airlines have so far lost N360 billion to flight suspensions.

“There are charges, fees, allowances, salaries, aircraft leases, taxes all pending and over 100 aircrafts parked nationwide without generating a dime,” Obi Mbanuzuo, the airline’s account manager had explained.

“The value-added tax (VAT) which contributes to the high cost of airfares is yet to be removed.”

Aviation and hospitality businesses have been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic as countries across the world have imposed restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus.

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