Nigeria has granted daily traffic rights to British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Turkish Airlines, while continuing to ban other European carriers over reciprocal visa issues.
From October 2, British Airways and Turkish Airlines, along with Ethiopian Airlines, RwandAir, ASKY Airlines, and Air Côte d’Ivoire have approval to operate daily flights to Lagos and Abuja, according to the latest flight schedule update from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Africa World Airlines has approval to operate twice-daily flights to Lagos and daily ones to Abuja; while Virgin Atlantic, Qatar Airways, Delta Air Lines, and Kenya Airways may now fly daily to Lagos, according to the approval signed by NCAA Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Captain Musa Nuhu.
Meanwhile, the West African country continues to blacklist Lufthansa, Air France, and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines over travel restrictions imposed on Nigerian tourist visa holders by the European Union. This despite a meeting between Nigeria’s Aviation Ministry and EU ministers last month when discussions were reported to have “progressed well”.
In similar tit-for-tat aero-politics, Nigeria banned Emirates for travel restrictions imposed by the United Arab Emirates, but reversed its decision on September 30 after the UAE backed-down. Aviation Minster Hadi Sirika tweeted the UAE would begin issuing visas to Nigerians on October 8, 2020.
BA, Virgin Atlantic, and Turkish Airlines were excluded from the blacklist published by Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Aviation ahead of the reopening of the country’s international airspace on September 5, 2020.
According to the ch-aviation schedules module, BA started operating daily flights from October 3 to Lagos and daily to Abuja from October 7. Virgin Atlantic was scheduled to operate three weekly flights from October 7. Turkish Airlines began flying to Lagos and Abuja on October 3, increasing its frequencies to Abuja and Lagos to four weekly by October 8 and October 9 respectively.