Abuja Airport Closure: Foreign Airlines Reject Kaduna Airport
Foreign airlines operating in Nigeria have rejected the Federal Government of Nigeria's proposal to use Kaduna Airport as alternative while the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja is closed for repairs.
The operators say they would prefer Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano airports as viable alternatives.
Speaking on Thursday at a Stakeholders Forum organised by the Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the representative of foreign airlines, Osho Joseph described the planned closure as a total disruption of their schedules and operations alleging that the Kaduna airport couldn't handle international flights.
“We’re supposed to learn from past experiences. We shouldn’t have waited this long before repairing the runway. We have individual concerns aside security issues. We believe Kaduna airport is an alternate airport for local airlines, but not foreign carriers,”Joseph said.
The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, NANTA, at the weekend supported the rejection of Kaduna Airport as alternate airport by foreign airlines.
The association said the foreign carriers should be given the option of flying the Abuja passengers to Lagos and allowing the domestic airlines to do the distribution of the passengers to Kaduna airport.
The Federal Government of Nigeria had in December 2016 announced that Abuja airport would be closed in February to effect repairs on the runway. But a statement issued on Tuesday, the aviation ministry said the closure would now start on March 8.