The Nigerian government has finally approved the resumption of domestic flight in the country, and reiterate that a hike in flight fare is inevitable in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic contrary to the Minister of Aviation’s declaration a week ago that there would be no fare increase.
This came after President, Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, approved the lifting of restrictions on interstate travel effective from July 1. He also extended the second phase of the relaxed lockdown by four weeks beginning Tuesday, June 30, 2020 to midnight of Monday, July 27, 2020. Though all schools will remain closed, arrangements would be made for graduating students in Primary 6, JS3 and SS3 to resume and prepare for examinations.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, who made this known at its bi-weekly briefing on Monday, said Nigerians should expect a hike in airfare.
“The domestic aviation services is allowed to resume operations as soon as practicable in line with existing international and local guidelines on COVID-19.” He said the resumption of flight operations would come with an increase in airfare.
He explained that the increment of products and services was not peculiar to the aviation sector.
According to him, prices of things have surged since the coronavirus outbreak.
“Prices have increased generally. The prices of things prior to COVID-19 is different from what it used to be.
“Even in the market, things have increased. That is the difficult thing that is going to confront us as a people and because of the protocols that are going to be introduced in the whole aviation business, you will definitely expect an increase in the prices,” he said.
Mustapha said those in the aviation sector are in business for profit explaining that with the protocol on social distancing, airlines will be expected to fly fewer number of passengers.
He noted that operators will have to share the cost in view of present situation with their passengers.
National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu had earlier announced domestic flight operations is now allowed to open in Nigeria after a satisfactory assessment of the industry’s readiness for restart.