Air ticket might skyrocket if airlines commence operations-Sirika

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Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that there is an indication that air ticket might skyrocket when the flights commenced, saying that passengers may not be able to afford it.

Sirika, however stated that the Federal Government is dialoging with airline operators and other stakeholders in the aviation industry to ensure that the prices in air ticket do not escalate.

He further explained that the prices might be different from what passengers were used to, he, however, added that the prices will be affordable.

Speaking on Monday during the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sirika said: “Skyrocketing of flight ticket may not necessarily be the case because as I speak with you, day in day out, we have been meeting with stakeholders in the industry to find out how best to open up the industry in such a way that it does not bring hardship to the airline industry in general because definitely physical distancing will come into effect in the airport itself.

“The happenings around airports certainly is putting people together and getting them to socially interact and do businesses and to create huge economic activity. So, we are coming up with measures to cushion the effect.’’

Virgin Atlantic Airways said yesterday it would resume flights on the Lagos/ London route effective August 24.

According to the airline’s Manager, Marketing and Communications – Nigeria, Promise Ukandu, the new date will provide connections to a range of destinations in the United States.

However, the airline said the restart of flights into Lagos and other routes will be dependent on the lifting of travel restrictions around the world.

Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic, Juha Jarvinen, said: “As countries around the world begin to relax travel restrictions, we look forward to welcoming our customers back onboard and flying them safely to many destinations across our network.

“From 20th July, we will resume services to New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, then from 1st August onwards, we will resume passenger flying to 17 additional destinations around the world, including Lagos, Tel Aviv, Atlanta, Mumbai and Las Vegas.’’

“However, we are monitoring external conditions extremely closely, in particular the travel restrictions many countries have in place including the 14-day quarantine policy for travellers entering the UK.

“We know that as the Covid-19 crisis subsides, air travel will be a vital enabler of the UK’s economic recovery. Therefore, we are calling on UK Government to continually review its quarantine measures and instead look at a multi-layered approach of carefully targeted public health and screening measures, including air bridges, which will support a successful and safe restart of international air travel for passengers and businesses” he said.

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