British Airways and Air France have asked the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to grant them a one-month extension to move their operations to the new Abuja international terminal.
FAAN issued an ultimatum to all foreign airlines operating at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to relocate their operations to the new international terminal on or before March 31.
The request by the two airlines sighted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday addressed to the management of the airport, sought the management’s approval to continue operating at the old terminal until April 30.
Sani Mahmud, FAAN’s Regional General Manager (RGM), North Central and Abuja Airport Manager, said all other airlines had fully complied with directive with exception of Turkish Air, Air France and British Airways.
Mr Mahmud said the British Airways had requested that they be allowed to bring in their IT personnel to carry out checks on their connectivity and other installations before relocating to the new terminal.
He said the request has yet to be granted by the management, saying that FAAN had ensured that the terminal was fully ready for all airlines to move in.
On Air France, the manager said the request was also similar to that of British Airways, explaining that the authority had provided all the facilities required for smooth operation of the airlines.
He disclosed that Turkish Airline had a peculiar case because of their relocation to the new airport it built in Istanbul, Turkey.
Mr Mahmud said that the airline had earlier written to inform FAAN that it would commence flight Operations as from April 7 in the new terminal after their relocation to their new airport in Istanbul from April 2.
“British Airways and Air France have written to ask for extension of time till end of April to enable them to bring in their experts to check the connectivity but the management has not given the approval.
“Turkish should have moved if not for the relocation to their new airport in Istanbul but they will move in very soon.
“RwandaAir, African World Airlines and Lufthansa have all moved before the March 31 deadline.
“The delay is not from us because everything required has been provided, the connectivity, the offices and other facilities are all in place,” he said.
NAN reports that of the 13 international airlines operating in Abuja, eight have moved into the new terminal while five are yet to commence operations there.
Those that have moved are Asky, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Côte d’Ivoire, Air Peace, Lufthansa, Emirates, AWA and RwandAir.
Those yet to move are the British Airways, Air France, Turkish Airlines, Egypt Air and Arik.