The novel coronavirus pandemic (“Pandemic” or “COVID-19”) has impacted businesses and communities around the globe. Countries have announced varying levels of restrictions on the movement of people and trade and borders have been closed to all but essential travel.
In a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, the Federal Government recently issued regulations restricting movement and closed Nigerian airspace to commercial flights save for authorised flights. Arguably, the Aviation Industry (the “Industry”), an integral part of globalization, appears to be one of the worst-hit. The International Air Transport Association (“IATA”) has projected that Nigeria’s aviation industry will have 3.5 million fewer passengers, resulting in a $0.76 billion revenue loss, risking 91,380 jobs and $0.65 billion in contribution to Nigeria’s economy.
The Industry (including airline operators, service providers and investors), has taken several precautionary measures to manage the impact of the Pandemic including grounding of aircraft, reducing flights and cancellation of flights and supply contracts.
We have set out below general guidance to clarify legal and regulatory impacts of the Pandemic for clients in the Industry.