The Federal Government via a tweet, on June 18, disclosed that the June 21 resumption of domestic flights will not be feasible. Tolu Ogunlesi the special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Digital/New Media, who released the statement said:
“June 21 is not a feasible date to resume domestic air operations in Nigeria. We will not approve the resumption of flight operations until we confirm we are able to start in a safe, secure, organized and efficient manner.”
“We will only give the go-ahead for resumption of domestic flights when we are ready. By the middle of next week we hope to submit a report through the Minister of Aviation to #PTFCOVID19, advising on a possible date for resumption.”
Ogunlesi added that nobody promised that flights would definitively resume on June 21, as it was always a tentative date.
In compliance to the Federal Government order. The Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa NuhuCaptain Nuhu, who represented the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, at the Presidential Task Force Briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja also said:
“despite pressures coming from all quarters, will not approve the start any day until we are sure and we confirm that we are ready to start in a safe, secure, organized and efficient manner. To do otherwise is disastrous for all of us.
“If we open the industry when we are not ready and we are guilty of spreading coronavirus, God forbid we have any incident, I believe the government will come hard on us and it is going to be counterproductive and disastrous for the industry.
“We are not too far, we are close but there is a need for timing to ensure that we are ready, positively, absolutely ready to start work.”
Nuhu noted that recommendations are also being gotten from the World Health Organisation, the International Air Transport Association, the Airport Council International, and the African Civil Aviation Commission.
“We have to adopt all these, it’s not easy; it’s a very complex process. What I can assure is that, the civil aviation authority will only give a go-ahead when we are ready, nothing further.
“We are looking towards the end of this month. Hopefully, by the end of next week, we will submit a report through the Ministry of Aviation to the Presidential Task Force for review. We know the industry is anxious but to do otherwise will be a great disservice and neglect of our statutory mandate from the government of Nigeria.”