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New domestic carrier, United Nigeria Airlines, begins flight operations today

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A domestic airline, United Nigeria Airlines, will begin flight operations today (Friday), having received air operators certificate from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

Its AOC, with number UNA/AOC/01-21/961, is valid till January 31, 2023.

The airline’s Head of Corporate Communications, Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, said in a statement that flight operations would begin on Friday, February 12, 2021.

The statement read in part, “United Nigeria Airlines will conduct its inaugural flight on Friday, February 12, 2021.

“The inaugural flight will take off from the domestic wing of Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MM2) in Ikeja, Lagos state and terminate at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu, the operational base of United Nigeria.

“The flight will also visit Abuja from Enugu and finally return to Lagos. The United Nigeria inaugural flight will be conducted with an EMB145 aircraft type.”

He said regular daily flights to Lagos, Abuja, Asaba and Enugu airports would also commence immediately, adding that Owerri and Port Harcourt flights to follow.

According to the statement, for now, the airline will focus on the southern part of Nigeria, it will fly Lagos-Abuja at 6:45am daily; Abuja-Lagos at 8:15am daily; Lagos-Asaba at 9:45am daily; Asaba-Abuja at 11:15am daily; Abuja- Asaba a4 12:45pm daily and Asaba-Lagos at 14:15pm daily.

It will also operate Lagos-Enugu at 7am daily; Enugu-Abuja at 8:30am daily; Abuja-Enugu at 10:00am daily and Enugu-Lagos at 11:30am daily.

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Aviation

Arik Air to resume Abuja-Maiduguri flights next Monday

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Arik Air has reintroduced flights from Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja to Maiduguri, Borno State.

The airline said this would take effect from next Monday May 10, 2021.

The airline announced this in a statement signed by Public Relations and Communications Manager, Adebanji Ola.

The statement added that passengers travelling from Lagos could connect seamlessly to this service from Abuja.

The airline said flights would be operated on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

The statement quoted Arik Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Roy Ilegbodu, as saying, “We are delighted to reintroduce our services to Maiduguri, following popular demand by our customers for Arik’s presence in the city.

“Customers on this route should again expect the traditional Arik Air hospitality and exceptional service that have become the hallmark of the airline.”

The airline announced the resumption of direct flights from Lagos to Kano in April.

Ilegbodu had said then that the decision to reintroduce direct flights between Lagos and Kano was due to the importance of both cities.

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COVID-19: Ban on passengers from Brazil, India, Turkey begins Tuesday

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The Federal Government has announced that foreigners who recently visited Brazil, India and Turkey will be denied entry into Nigeria from Tuesday.

Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said the decision was as a result of global surge in COVID-19 cases.

Mustapha, who is also Secretary to the Government of the Federation, stated this in a travel advisory issued on Saturday.

There has been a surge of COVID-19 cases in some countries, with India reporting more than 300,000 daily cases for more than 10 days.

Mustapha said Nigerians who visited those countries would undergo one-week mandatory quarantine on arrival and bear the cost.

He added that the FG had reduced the validity period of pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test for all Nigeria-bound passengers from 96 to 72 hours.

The SGF said, “The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has over the last few weeks been monitoring with concern, the increasing trend of COVID-19 cases in several countries, with additional focus on countries with high incidence, fatality rate and widespread prevalence of variants of concern.

“This interim travel advisory applies to three (3) countries in the first instance. These precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimize the risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases introduced to Nigeria from other countries, while national response activities continue.

“The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, after due consideration, has therefore approved the implementation of the following measures: Reduction of the validity period of pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test for all Nigeria-bound passengers from 96hrs to 72 hours. Henceforth, the PCR test results older than 72 hours before departure shall not be accepted.

“Non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within Fourteen (14) days preceding travel to Nigeria shall be denied entry into Nigeria. This regulation, however, does not apply to passengers who transited through these countries.

“Nigerians and those with permanent resident permit who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within Fourteen (14) days preceding travel to Nigeria shall be made to undergo seven (7) days of mandatory quarantine in a government approved facility at the point-of-entry city and at cost to the passenger.

“Passenger(s) arriving in Nigeria from other destinations must observe a seven-day self-isolation at their final destination.”

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Anambra airport receives maiden flights, Air Peace Boeing airplanes

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History was made on Friday, April 30, 2021 when the first flights at the just constructed Anambra International Cargo Airport, Umueri, landed.

Two aircraft; Boeing 737 mark N5,-BUJ, and Embraer 145 both owned by Air Peace Airline landed by 2.26 pm and 2.46 pm respectively.

The airport was constructed by the Anambra State Government.

The state governor, Willie Obiano, at the airport, said the state did not borrow any money to construct the project.

He said that the project began in December 2020, and the landing and other facilities were achieved within 15 months.

“We began this project in January 2020 when COVID-19 was adversely affecting economies of every state, nation, and the world over.

“We were able to start and by the grace of God we are here to witness this historic event,” he said.

Obiano who listed facilities already completed said the airport had the best and longest runway, control tower and lightning system in Africa.

Chief Executive Officer, Air Peace Airline, Mr Allen Onyema, said he was overwhelmed at the standard of the project.

“This Anambra airport is about the best in Africa in terms of the facilities we have here,” he said.

Chief Neville Uchendu, a contractor handling some construction work in the state, said the quality of work done at the airport would stand the test of time.

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