By Lawani Mikairu

The Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos Saturday received its first flight as international flights operations resumed in the country after the suspension of all flights in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is just as Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja will be opened on Monday, 7th September for international flights.

The first commercial scheduled flight Middle East Airline, MEA, touched down at the airport at around 2.00 pm local time from Beirut and was ceremonially welcomed with a water cannon demonstration by the men of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Aerodrome and Rescue Fire Fighters.

The airport officials, led by the Nigerian Immigration Service, screened the arriving passengers. They presented their documents including their COVID-19 PCR test results for screening by the Port Health services officials. While their travelling papers, passports and visas were handled by the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS.

Speaking on the procedures, the Comptroller NIS, MMIA, Abdullahi Usman said the screening process has been seamless and passengers were cooperative when travelling documents were requested by the officials.

Usman said: ” The screening has been going on smoothly so far. No problems as passengers have been cooperating. The Immigration officials are carrying out their routine checks and they are running their normal shifts. We have not deployed extra men,” he added.

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Speaking during the arrival of the first flight, the Lagos Airport Manager, Mrs. Victoria Shinaba said while the airport was on shut down to commercial scheduled flights, the airport ” recorded over a hundred special and essential flights approved by the Federal government”.

Shinaba also said that Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, would continue to improve on the procedures for facilitation and appealed to Nigerians to stay off the airport terminal if they are not travelling.

Lagos Airport

Meanwhile, the federal government has said that the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja will receive its first international flight on Monday, 7th September.

The Lagos and Abuja international airports are the only two airports out of the international airports in the country that will be opened for international flights. Others like Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano, and Sokoto airports will be opened later for international flights operations.

The Lagos and Abuja airports were again given a last-minute nod, weekend, by the federal government and Lagos State government after another round of inspection to ascertain the readiness of the two airports to receive flights and process passengers

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