By Chinedu Eze
Two months after the federal government approved the resumption of international flights to the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, flights were yet to resume because of curfew introduced by the state government to check insecurity.
This was disclosed by Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)’s Regional General Manager for the South South and South-east in charge of the airport, Mr. Felix Akinbinu.
He said that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had given approval for international flights to resume, following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, adding that the curfew was preventing international airlines from operating at the airport.
The Rivers State Government had in April imposed state-wide night curfew in all the 23 local government councils of the state to check the attacks on security agencies in the state.
The statement had stated then that human and vehicular movements were prohibited in the state from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am from April 29 till further notice.
FAAN explained that most international fights took off in the night from various destinations and arrive at the airline’s hub in the morning where the passengers connecting flights to other destinations could do so.
Akinbinu said there has been some growth in passenger traffic since domestic flights resumed but noted that the airport would generate more revenue if international flights had resumed.
“There has been some growth in passenger traffic since the Covid-19 restrictions on domestic operations were lifted and we expect more. I can’t give the exact figures of passenger traffic but I can say for a fact that there has been an increase especially as more airlines are coming in.
“We have about seven airlines operating in Port Harcourt now and Ibom Air might be the eighth one. Air Peace and Arik operates twice to Lagos and twice to Abuja daily from here and more frequencies are coming in. With time, there would be even more increase because the airport has high potential. We have been given approval to resume international flights by NCAA but the foreign operators have refused to commence flights because of the curfew imposed by the Rivers State government. That is the only thing holding us down and nothing more”.
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Curfew Hinders Resumption of International Flights to PH, Says FAAN – editor – 2021-07-06 07:32:38