…Dana Air joins Thursday
…Air Peace assures of Passengers’ Safety
…GAT, MMA2 witness low traffic
Posted by Sade Williams
Four domestic airlines: Air Peace; Arik Air; Ibom Air and Max Air, on Wednesday, resumed spaced flight operations at the General Avictim Terminal (GAT) operated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Murtala Muhammed Airport terminal two (MMA2), operated by Bicourtney Aviation Services Ltd (BASL), as approved by the Federal government.
A visit by Thetravelport.com.ng to both terminals in Lagos show near empty terminals occasioned by low traffic as it seems people are yet to fully embrace air travel again.
At the MMA2, Max Air and Ibom Air were seen operating from the terminal as Dana Air ticketing desks were still shut.
Before entering the terminal, passengers were fully screened and were made to observe all the guidelines and protocols issued by the regulatory authority.
The departure area of the terminal are marked for passengers to observe social distancing, their hands were sanitised, temperature checked and baggage fumigated before being allowed entry.
The same protocols were in place at GAT as passengers were screenend accordingly.
It was also learnt that officials of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), were on each flight in order to monitor compliance by both airlines and passengers.
According to Ola Banji, Arik Air spokesman, the airline has three flights for the day, adding that the first one left for Abuja at about 7.15 am., while the other two are scheduled for 11 am and 4.pm.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s leading airline, Air Peace, has urged its customers to embrace online booking and check-in, employing its user-friendly Mobile App, as a means of minimising physical contact.
In a statement released to journalists, the airline’s Spokesperson, Stanley Olisa, disclosed that Air Peace has put in place reliable measures to protect both passengers and staff pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight, adding that the flying public need not worry but comply with all health protocols.
He said the airline has thoroughly disinfected all its aircraft and the flight crew are current as well as COVID-19 conscious.
“If you’ve been following our social media platforms, you will have seen robust sensitisation content in form of videos showing what is expected of our passengers in this COVID-19 dispensation”, Olisa stated. He stressed that passengers must always wear their face masks before entering the airport terminal and on board, and are expected to submit themselves for temperature checks before boarding.
According to him: “If your temperature reads above 37 degrees, you’ll be denied boarding. No loitering on the aisle of the aircraft. Hands must be sanitised and no more meals on board. This is to reduce crew-passenger contact. Flying will be somewhat different but we can guarantee your safety”.
Olisa, who implored the flying public to download the Air Peace Mobile App for seamless booking and check-in, asserted that all the airline’s aircraft are in perfect shape as multiple shakedown flights have been conducted for safety reassurance. He added that the airline has also been operating series of ‘special’ flights, which is an indication of aircraft airworthiness.
In a related development, Dana Air has announced the resumption of its flight services on July 9 2020.
The airline said it will operate three daily flights from Lagos to Abuja and back while the date for the addition of Port Harcourt and Owerri will be announced later.
The Chief Operating Officer of Dana Air Obi Mbanuzuo, while speaking on the preparedness of the airlines said, ” Dana Air is ready to fly safely again from the 9th of July. We have worked round the clock with the NCAA to achieve this safe resumption of flights and we are introducing other initiatives soon in line with the present realities and the need to minimize contacts at the airport.
”We have disinfected all our aircraft, provided all our staff with the recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), alcohol-based hand sanitizers have been made available at our check-in, boarding gates and onboard the aircraft for guests and we have an optimized cleaning protocol in place as recommended by the World Health Organisation, (WHO),and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). We have also created a boarding strategy which will give our passengers some sense of safety onboard our aircraft.
Speaking on the flight resumption, Engr. Lookman Animashauu, Director, Maintenance and Engineering, Ibom Air, praised the NCAA and FAAN for coming up with the protocols, saying it was the best way to go.
He however, urged passengers to abide by them and not see the rules as cumbersome, for their own safety.