ABUJA, March 27 (Reuters) - Runway repairs at Abuja’s international airport will continue for an 18-week period once the aviation hub re-opens next month, the Nigerian government said, promising that the work would be done overnight with no further disruption to flights.
The Nigerian capital’s airport is currently closed for a first phase of repairs to its dilapidated runway, forcing airlines to reroute to Kaduna airport, which lies 160 km (100 miles) away in a region plagued by kidnappings in recent years.
“After the Abuja airport re-opens for operations on April 19, upgrade works on the runway will continue for another 18 weeks,” a statement from the vice president’s office said late on Sunday. “This second phase of upgrade works ... will be carried out at night, with no disruption to flight schedules.”
The cutting of direct flights to Abuja, an important business hub as well as Nigeria’s political nerve centre, has raised economic and security concerns.
Airlines including British Airways, Lufthansa and South African Airways have refused to fly into Kaduna due to security concerns. (Reporting by Felix Onuah and Alexis Akwagyiram; editing by Richard Lough)