By Riches Soberekon
The military regime in Niger has announced the reopening of its airspace to commercial flights. The decision comes after the airspace was closed since August 6th, causing disruptions in travel and trade.
According to the official Niger News Agency (ANP), the Ministry of Transport spokesperson confirmed that the airspace is now open to both national and international commercial flights. Ground services have also resumed, bringing relief to travelers and businesses.
However, it’s important to note that operational military flights and other special flights still require prior authorization from the relevant authorities. This measure ensures the safety and security of the airspace.
The initial closure of the airspace was a response to concerns about potential intervention from neighboring countries following the coup d’état on July 26th, which saw the overthrow of the democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum.
During the closure, Niger’s land and air borders were also shut. However, on August 2nd, the land borders were reopened with five neighboring countries: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Mali, and Chad. This step facilitated limited movement and trade.
The reopening of the airspace will undoubtedly have a positive impact on Niger’s economy, as it will restore vital connections for trade and tourism. However, the ongoing sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the closure of borders have had adverse effects on the availability of essential food and medical supplies in the country.