COVID-19: FG rules out hike in airfares
Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation

By Dirisu Yakubu

ABUJA – The Federal government has ruled out the possibility of increment in airfares as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika stated this Saturday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja while inspecting resumption of flights from the nation’s capital to Kano and other parts of the country.

It would be recalled that Kano, Owerri and Port-Harcourt airports resumed air transport business, joining Lagos and Abuja airports which resumed domestic flights on Wednesday.

Sirika noted that since there would be no physical distancing among air passengers, there would be no need on the part of air transporters to increase the cost of air tickets.

Briefing newsmen, Sirika said “there is no price increase in airfares because I know that someone travelled at about N30,000, while another person told me it was N25,000 (from Abuja) to Lagos.

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“So I want to assume that even if the increase had happened like I said earlier on during the COVID-19 briefing, it will be minimal that passengers can afford. Because of the nature of the airplane, the aircraft cabin is hygienic enough once you have your mask on.

He gave reason why social distancing is not compulsory aboard an aircraft saying, “you are safe to remain seated on your seat and where possible, we will keep the distance. Airplanes are designed in such a way that the ambient air at altitudes is clean. It is not contaminated.”

He added that resumption of air flights would follow strict compliance with safety protocols earlier announced by the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19.

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