The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika on Monday announced that domestic flights will resume nationwide June 21.
Recall that the flights were suspended since March due to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.
Sirika announced the flight resumption at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He said the resumption of flights will be based strictly on the implementation of the approved protocols for safe operations of the airlines.
“The three-week period between now and the resumption date is to enable the operators adhere to all the necessary industry regulations, without which they cannot take to the skies after being dormant for some time.
“This is because aviation, unlike other sectors, is a highly regulated one,” he said.
The minister added that consultations had been on between the ministry and the industry’s stakeholders on the best ways to operate profitably, while, at the same time, ensuring safety of travelers upon resumption.
Sirika cautioned owners of private aircraft, who, he said, were in the habit of asking for permits to fly within the country despite the restrictions in place, to desist, as the restrictions were still in place.
He said only flights on essential services, which have been clearly defined will be allowed.
He said that since approval for flights on essential services was not being paid for, it would take little or no time to grant it.
Sirika warned against people allowing themselves to be scammed by those outside the approving authorities.
He pointed out that the sector, under his watch, had zero tolerance for corrupt practices since his assumption of office as minister.
The minister also expressed gratitude to the stakeholders in the aviation sector for their cooperation, in spite of their unquantifiable losses, occasioned by the lockdown since March.
He assured that everything humanly possible would be done to ensure speedy recovery of the sector.