UPDATE: Middle East Airline operates first flight out of Nigeria with over 100 passengers

Activities once again picked up at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) as international flights resumed with Middle East Airlines flew into the country. The aircraft landed at 2:19 pm.

On its an outbound flight out of the Lagos airport, over 100 outbound passengers with were seen filing out wearing face masks with the observance of social distancing on the floor markings as they took their turns to get their boarding passes before proceeding for immigration protocols through the boarding gates.

The Beirut bound flight, it was learnt had passengers travelling through the length and breadth of the Middle East as their final destination.

Speaking, the Manager, South-West Airports, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs Victoria Shin-Aba who spoke to journalists at the airport said It has been five months and 13 days since MMIA was closed to international flighs.

Shina-Aba, however, stated that while the airport was on lockdown, the airport processed 192 evacuation and special flights and 1,404 cargo flights.

She said the airport is coming back to life after a lot of things have been put in place to ensure travellers have confidence in travelling again.

On the various steps passengers will have to go through, she said, departing passengers are no longer expected to come to the airport with many people as non-travelling passengers can only stay at the drop off zone of the terminal.

“We have been able to demarcate the gates. The first gate is for crew and staff only. The B and C gates are for passengers. We have another gate for elderly and special people. At each of these gates, we have water provided for passengers to wash their hands. We have bag sanitising stations where passengers get their bags sanitized. Then the temperature of passengers is taken.

“At the passenger gate, we have infrared cameras that can capture many people at the same time. If you try to access the place without face masks, it will indicate that your face mask is not on. We have signs everywhere telling people what to do. The security will not allow passengers without face masks in. We have sanitisers at the gates.

“If you have a temperature higher than the normal, the Port health will take you to a place that has been provided just to sit down for a while and check you again after some minutes. If you are okay, you will be allowed to travel,” she explained.

She said that FAAN has done some social distance markings and people queue according to the markings and passengers and staff do not have direct contact.

She assured that FAAN staff are always on stand-by to infect things that are touched by passengers regularly and boarding is also done in batches.

Other flights being expected today include British Airways.

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