Nigeria reopens Abuja airport after completing runway repairs 24 hours ahead of schedule

An Ethiopian Airlines plane arriving in the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on Tuesday, the first flight after rehabilitation of the runway. Credit: Albert Otu/ICE/NAN/

Nigeria‘s international airport in the capital, Abuja, has formally reopened after six weeks of urgent repairs to its runway.

The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was closed in March to enable the rehabilitation of its 3.6 km (2.2 miles) runway.

Henrietta Yakubu, a spokesperson for the aviation authority Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), said repair works were completed 24 hours ahead of schedule.

Nigeria says the Abuja airport is opening Tuesday, a day ahead of schedule. An Ethiopian Airlines Airbus A350-900 became the first plane to land at the repaired runway on Tuesday morning.

Flights had been diverted to Kaduna, 160 km (100 miles) from the capital. Local Nigerian airlines, including Medview and Air Peace, have indicated their decision to start traveling the Abuja route from Wednesday. International airlines are now taking bookings for flights later this week.