Nigeria this week reopened the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja following a six-week closure for runway repairs.
During the shutdown, authorities diverted flights to Kaduna, a provincial airport 160 km away. However, some international carriers, including SAA, refused to fly to Kaduna on security grounds, and diverted flights to Lagos instead. Only Ethiopian Airlines agreed to use Kaduna airport during the closure. On Tuesday, an Ethiopian Airlines Airbus A350-900 became the first plane to land at the repaired runway.
"Abuja runway is 100 percent completed and certified by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. Consequently, the airport is open for operations," aviation minister Hadi Sirika was quoted as saying by Reuters.