British Airways has been forced to cancel its daily service between London Heathrow and Abuja until April 19, while repair works are carried out at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
This page on BA’s website confirmed that “We have been informed that the runway at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja will be closed for extensive repairs between March 7 and April 19, 2017.”
“Unfortunately this means that we have to cancel all flights to/from the airport for that period of time.”
The carrier said that affected customers would be contacted and offered a choice of a refund, rebooking onto an Abuja service at a later date, or rebooking onto serviced to Lagos or Accra. BA added:
“We are awaiting more information from the authorities in Nigeria. At this stage we hope that we can restart our normal flight schedules from Heathrow to Abuja on the evening of April 19 and from Abuja to Heathrow the following morning on April 20, 2017.
“We will update this story as we receive more information about the runway repairs in the coming weeks.”
As flagged on our forum in January, the intention had been for affected airlines to reroute their services to the city of Kaduna, around 120 miles away, but according to the BBC “all but one international airline has refused to fly there”.
A website dedicated to the airport’s temporary closure has been set up here, including a countdown timer to the scheduled reopening.
Justifying the decision to close the airport, the Nigerian authorities said:
“The runway has deteriorated to such an extent that it requires complete reconstruction. This cannot be done at night. Furthermore, the runway has been maintained mostly through closure at night in the past several years, but is has reached a state where that method will not work anymore.”