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After Lufthansa, South African Airways rejects Kaduna airport

By on February 8, 2017

South African Airways has vowed not to fly to Kaduna during the six weeks that Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport would be shut.

The Abuja airport would be closed from March 8 in order to carry out repairs on its runway.

The airline made its decision public five days after Lufthansa ruled out the option of flying to Kaduna.

“That proposal would impact on aircraft availability and connectivity for our passengers,” Tlali Tlali, South African Airways spokesman,  said.

British Airways, KLM, and Air France have temporarily canceled flights to Abuja during the repairs, but they said flights to Lagos will continue.

Officials say the runway of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport is in shocking disrepair and that attempts to fix it piecemeal since its lifespan ended have failed.

An SAA plane was damaged on landing there in August.

The federal government has said it would be impossible to carry out the repairs at night to help minimise the massive disruption to business and the economy.

The Abuja airport is the second busiest international airport, with about a half-million international passengers passing through in the second half of 2015, according to government data.

Government had promised to provide security on the highway from Kaduna to Abuja and to upgrade facilities at Kaduna’s airport.

Three months ago, that airport did not have computers, with airline officers issuing handwritten boarding cards.