BA suspends Abuja flights

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British Airways has been forced to suspend its daily service between London Heathrow and Abuja (Nigeria) until 19 April, while repair works are carried out at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

The airline confirmed that the runway at the airport will be closed for extensive repairs between 7 March and 19 April.

BA customers affected by this cancellation will be contacted and offered a choice of a refund, rebooking onto an Abuja service at a later date, or rebooking to Lagos or Accra.

“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 19 April and from Abuja to Heathrow the following morning on 20 April,” the airline said in a statement.

As flagged on the Business Traveller 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.”