South African Airways suspends operations to Nigeria’s Capital

South African Airways has concluded arrangements to suspend its Abuja operations two days to the six weeks closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The airline said its last flight into Abuja will be on March 6, while the airport will be closed by the Federal Government on March 8. The Federal Government had said it will make the Kaduna International Airport the alternative during the period of closure.

But South African Airways said it was unwilling to fly to Kaduna. The airline has already sent the notice of its position to the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.

The letter to Sirika, from South African Airways by its Acting Chief Commercial Officer, Aaron Munetsi, said the operations to Abuja will resume on April 18, 2017. The letter reads in part: “SAA commends the Nigerian authorities concerning the planned repairs of the NAIA runway. However, due to network and fleet operations planning, SAA regrets to advise that the airline will suspend its Abuja operations with effect from
6th March until the 18th April, 2017.”

The airline said it will be in constant touch with the Nigerian aviation authorities as the repair work progresses in order to establish its readiness for revised operations in accordance with its work schedule.

The runway of the airport, according to the government, needs a
major rehabilitation to become fully functional.