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Six Airline Carriers Explain Reasons They Suspend Flights In Nigeria


No fewer than six airline carriers have suspended flights due to the impact of the deadly coronavirus for the interest of Nigerians.

The six airline carriers include  Arik Air, Aero Contractors of Nigeria, Air Peace, Dana  Air, Azman Air and Max Airline.

According to the operators, they took the decision in the best interest of the country, adding that it would help the government in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

Besides COVID-19, they said there had been a slump in passenger traffic in the last three weeks, adding that it was unprofitable for them to continue to fly.

On the part of Air Peace, the suspension will offer special flights to the government and individuals until it resumes fully on April 20.

Aero Contractors said it was suspending flights for two weeks from midnight today.

Dana Air suspended flights for 14 days from on Wednesday, the airline said in a statement.

In a statement, the Chief Operating Officer,  (COO), Air Peace, Mrs Toyin Olajide, said: ”As concerted efforts are being made to stop the spread of the pandemic, Coronavirus, Air Peace will suspend all its flight services.

“It is with a great sense of responsibility that we have decided, in the best interest of our nation, our passengers and workforce, to suspend scheduled flight operations for 23 days effective 23.00hrs on Friday (an hour before midnight on Friday) the 27th day of March 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“This difficult decision was reached to, not only, support the efforts of the Federal Government and other stakeholders in curbing the spread of this virus in our nation, but also to protect our teeming passengers and our staff from becoming victims of the pandemic.”

The airline noted that passenger traffic in the last three weeks has reduced drastically.

She continued: “Continuation of flight operations in the present circumstances we find ourselves as airlines, could lead to the total collapse of any airline hence the need to quickly stem the rising financial burden and costs of operations.

“While the suspension is on, we are, however, willing to do special flights both for the government and our people. Normal scheduled flight operations shall resume on April 20, 2020. We regret any inconvenience this decision may have caused our teeming passengers.”

Aero Contractors, according to a statement said: “We,  at Aero Contractors, have decided to suspend flight services in support of initiatives/precaution to ensure that there is no community infection in the country.

“This is also in line with the decision of the Lagos State Government, which has prohibited any gathering that is more than 20 persons.

“Coronavirus, known as COVID-19, is a global threat to our humanity and considering its devastating effect on many countries where it has led to the death of thousands of people, we have decided to make this onerous sacrifice by suspending our flight operations for two weeks, effective midnight 26 March 2020. After the two- week duration, we will review the progress made and make a decision on resumption of operations.

“We, therefore, crave the understanding of our esteemed customers to recognise our decision as a responsible corporate citizen and our support for full Government effort to protect our citizens.

“We have also taken care of all the future schedule of our customers and will ensure that those who have booked flights with us will be taken to their destinations in our usual safe and efficient service .”

Arik Air on its part also announced a temporary suspension of all scheduled commercial flight operations effective 23:00hrs on Friday, March 27, 2020.

According to its spokesman, Adebanji  Ola,  the management of the airline took the decision in order to mitigate the risk of the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to its valued customers and staff and hopes to resume services as soon as feasible.

He said customers who have confirmed tickets could still use their tickets when the airline resumes flight operations.

Such tickets, he said could also be modified at no extra charge.

The Chief Executive Officer of Arik Air, Captain Roy Ilegbodu stressed: “The safety and well-being of our valued customers is paramount at this period of health emergency. We implore everyone to keep safe and abide by all directives issued by governmental authorities.”

“We sincerely regret any inconvenience this suspension may have caused our customers.’’

Captain Ilegbodu added that Arik Air would be available to support government emergency, humanitarian and charter flight requests during the period of suspension of air transport operation.

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