Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines, has resumed passenger flights from New Jersey, United States, to Lagos and Abuja.
This follows the recent reopening of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on Sept. 5.
Mr Million Legesse, Ethiopian Airlines’ Traffic and Sales Manger in New York told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the flights would operate from the Newark Liberty International Airport.
Legesse said all preparations had been made, including strict COVID-19 and other health measures, for passengers’ safety and comfort.
NAN reports that Ethiopian Airlines is one of the 13 that secured government’s approval to fly into the country following the resumption.
According to Legesse, the indirect flights will be operated by the airline’s new Boeing B787-800 aircrafts.
“The total flight time to Nigeria is about 13 hours with short connection time at Togo which is 1 hr 30 mins,” he said.
“We have west African connections to other countries, Mali, Benin Senegal, Cameron, Liberia, Niger, with short connections,” he said.
The Federal Government suspended international flights on March 23 as part of efforts to check spread of the coronavirus.
This, in addition to travel restrictions by other countries, left many Nigerians stranded in different parts of the world.
The government had to intervene by organising special evacuation flights to repatriate those on short-term visits abroad.
Ethiopian Airlines operated all nine evacuation flights from the U.S. that saw the repatriation of 2,322 stranded Nigerians.