Ghana And Nigeria Set To Resume International Flights

Two major African countries are ready to reopen borders. The continent’s most populous nation, Nigeria, is set to resume international flights on August 29th. Ghana plans to allow inbound travelers into the country from September 1st.

Air Peace Nigeria International Flights Reopen
Nigeria will reopen to international travelers at the end of August. Photo: Air Peace

Nigeria’s airports were closed since March 23rd due to the pandemic. At that point, only essential business travel was permitted. Similarly, Ghana had shut its borders two days earlier, on March 21st.

Both countries decided to reopen to international travelers since the COVID-19 situation seems to have stabilized. However, they remain cautious. As such, there will be several protocols and safety measures in place to accommodate the inevitable influx of traffic once airports restart operations.

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What are the exact details?

For Nigeria, domestic flights had resumed entirely on July 8th. International flights, on the other hand, will return in stages. Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika revealed yesterday that Lagos and Abuja would receive international flights first. Specifically, four flights will land at each city daily, Al Jazeera reports.

Details on the exact protocols and procedures have not been disclosed.

According to CGTN, Ghanaian President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said on Sunday that entry points are to reopen next month. However, this is dependent on the readiness of the airports to accept international tourists. The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Aviation, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and the Ghana Airports will make the decision.

Africa World Airlines ghana reopen borders
All passengers entering Ghana will undergo a COVID-19 test. Photo: Africa World Airlines

Akufo-Addo added,

“I want to ensure that we are in a position to test every single passenger that arrives in the country to avoid the spread of the virus. The outcome of that exercise will show us the way, and determine when we can reopen our border by air. I am hoping that we will be ready to do so by September 1st.”

COVID-19 cases under control

The move to reopen to international tourists came after they accessed the COVID-19 situation in the respective countries. Active cases had plummeted significantly over August.

At the time of writing, Ghana has reported a total of 42,653 cases, 1,847 of which are active cases. The number was close to double at the start of the month. According to Peace FM Online, Ghana’s recovery rate has increased from 89.5% to 95.1% in the past three weeks.

Similarly, the Premium Times reported this weekend that Nigeria’s weekly cases have reduced for the fourth consecutive week, despite the increased rate of testing in the nation.

Currently, the country with a population of 195 million has less than 50,000 cases. As of yesterday, active cases stand at 11,674. This is a sharp 48% drop as compared to numbers on August 1st.

Other nations reopening borders

While Ghana and Nigeria have seen a drop in cases, Brazil is reopening to tourists despite its poor handling of the virus. Several countries have even imposed travel advisories against travel to the South American country.

LATAM Airlines Getty
Brazil’s airlines as struggling as LATAM Airlines filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in July. Photo: Getty Images.

However, Brazil is insistent on resuming international flights to boost its travel industry and possibly save its airline industry. On the other side of the world, India is acting differently. Its international flights remain suspended as the situation in the Asian country continues to decline.

Within Europe, many countries have resumed tourist services as early as June. Among these are Denmark, Greece, Germany, and Belgium. Although the destinations have opened their borders, travelers need to ensure they can secure flights.

What do you think of the two states resuming international flights? Are you planning a trip to Ghana or Nigeria soon? Let us know in the comments.