Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu resumes international flights from Monday, 3 May 2021, following a Federal Government approval.
Aviation Minister, Sen. Hadi Sirika, announced lifting of the ban at a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.
Two other international airports are however to be opened before Enugu, the Minister said. These include Aminu Kano International on 5 April and Port Harcourt International on 15 April.
Sen. Sirika defended government’s extended closure of the airports to shut off potential Covid-19 virus-bearing planes or passengers.
“There were no ulterior motives for not reopening the … other airports. There are processes to be followed,” he said.
“The airports were shut down, like others across the world. We closed our airports as that was where the virus came into the country.
“We reopened some after many considerations with the other stakeholders.”
Kano State’s Governor Ganduje led a team of state officials to plead with the Minister to reopen Aminu Kano International.
Enugu Airport was, however, never formally closed to international traffic at the time that government shut down airports.
Instead, it was shuttered on 24 August 2019 to repair damaged and hazardous runway and fix missing landing equipment.
Sen. Sirika worked hard to secure a N10bn funding for the project and closely supervised rehabilitation works to completion stage.
The airport reopened to local traffic on 30 August 2020 at an impressive ceremony attended by VIPs from the South-East region.
Akanu Ibiam International is the only international flights passenger airport in the region.
Within the period of closure, all Nigerian international passengers relied only on the Lagos and Abuja airports to arrive and exit the country.