Three of Nigeria’s major commercial airline operators, Dana Air, Air Peace and Arik Air have concluded plans to suspend flight operations.
The suspension of flights according to the airlines is part of efforts to whittle down the spread of Coronavirus pandemic
Dana Air on its part is halting all operations from the midnight of 25th March (today), for the period of two weeks.
“In line with the precautionary measures by the Lagos State Government to stem the spread of the COVID-19, kindly note that all our flight operations will be suspended effective Wednesday, the 25th of March for two weeks,” the airline said.
As for Air Peace, the suspension of all its flight services starts in the mid-night of Friday, 27th of March for 23 days.
The Chief Operating Officer, Mrs. Toyin Olajide, of Air Peace in a statement said, “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.
“This difficult decision was reached in order 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.”
Air Peace said that passenger traffic in the last three weeks has slumped drastically as a result of this pandemic, so it is therefore very unwise to continue raking up avoidable costs that the airline could ill afford.
“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,” the airline also added.
Arik Air has also announced temporarily suspension of all scheduled commercial flight operations effective 23:00hrs on Friday, March 27, 2020.
According to the airline, the management of the airline took this 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.
The airline in a statement issued yesterday stated that “Customers who have confirmed tickets have been advised that they could still use their tickets when the airline resumes flight operations. Such tickets could also be modified at no extra charge”.
The Chief Executive Officer of Arik Air, Captain Roy Ilegbodu stressed that, “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.”