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Airlines buckle; announce suspension, reduction of operations as COVID-19 hits

  • Aero Contractors suspends flights for two weeks, Ibom Air reduce flights 36%
AERO Contractors, Ibom Air have announced measures to help stem the spread of the deadly COVID-19 with different moves while Aero suspended its flights from Thursday, Ibom Air from Wednesday cut capacity by 36%

Nigerianflightdeck intercepted a memo from Aero Contractors which directed a suspension of its flight operations for 14 days from Thursday March 26, 2020.

In an announcement on the airlines official handle, a notification signed by the airline’s commercial Manager, Roger Cookey, the airline will operate flights till the midnight of the 25th of March to ensure safety of passengers and staff.

The statement read, “Dear all, this is to inform you that management has suspended all Aero flight operations for 14 days due to the COVID-19, with effect from 26th March 2020. In other words Aero flights will operate up till midnight 25th March 2020.

Inside sources further explained that the move is in cognizance of the commendable efforts of the federal government to stop the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria,”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 death of thousands of people, we have decided to make this onerous sacrifice by suspending our operations for two weeks.

“After the two weeks we will review the progress made and take a decision on resumption of operations.

“We therefore crave the understanding of our esteemed customers to recognise our decision as our contribution to what government is doing to protect our citizens,” the airline said.

“We have also taken care of all the future schedule of our customers and will ensure that those who have booked flights will be accommodated before we wind down operations.

We look forward with positive expectation that that we will soon see the end of this pandemic in Nigeria and in the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, Ibom Air has said that with its planned cut down of capacity, it intends to accommodate all its already booked passengers on any of its affected flights.

The announcement made on the airline’s official twitter handle read,” Beginning from Wednesday March 25, 2020, Ibom Air will operate at only 64% of its schedule capacity, cutting out 36% of its flight.

“This is in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly reduced domestic passenger demand. The airline commits to accommodate every passenger who is already booked on any flight affected by this schedule change on other Ibom Air flight of their choice.

“While looking forward, along with Nigerians, to the end of this pandemic and a return to our full capacity, Ibom Air promises to continue deliver its schedule reliably, on-time departures…”

Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in a statement earlier notified the general public that although all international flight operations have been suspended, passengers can still travel within Nigeria unhindered.

It  also used the opportunity to request all passengers and other stakeholders  to adhere strictly to all travel instructions and guidance in the interest of all.

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Nigerianflightdeck is an online news and magazine platform reporting business stories with a bias for aviation and travel. It is borne out of the intention to inform, educate as well as alter perceptions with balanced reportage.

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