Delta Air Lines, one of the major foreign carriers operating into Nigeria, said in a statement on Wednesday it is working with the Federal Government of Nigeria to understand the Executive Order issued on May 18 by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
In the statement, signed by its media consultant in Nigeria, the airline stressed that the safety and security of its customers and crew remains its number one priority.
“Delta Air Lines works closely with aviation authorities around the globe,” it said, adding that it is actively working with both the authorities in Nigeria and the United States to understand the new Presidential directive and ensure it remains compliant with the respective authorities.
The statement also noted that the airline is subject to U.S. Government and Nigerian Government security regulations.
A SaharaReporters correspondent who went to the international wing of the Lagos Airport today observed that all the airlines operating from the terminal were following the new order at the airport.
Although Delta was yet to commence boarding of passengers as of the time of filing this report, sources told our correspondent that both the airline and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) may have reached a compromise on the issue.
SaharaReporters has, however, also learned that the Executive Order may meet further resistance from foreign carriers flying into Nigeria as some of them which fly to the United States may flout the order because a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policy stipulates that at least 25 per cent of passengers' check-in luggage traveling to the US must be screened manually.
Airlines flying to the US from Nigeria include British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa/KLM, Air France, South African Airways and Kenya Airways.
It would be recalled that Delta Air Lines had vehemently resisted the removal of manual check-ins yesterday when it insisted that its staff must manually screen some of its passengers traveling to the US.
It took the intervention of the Managing Director, FAAN, Engr. Saleh Dunoma and MMIA Airport Manager, Mr. Nehemiah Auta before the issue could be temporarily resolved.
Nigeria’s security agencies reluctantly complied with the order as Aviation Security (AVSEC) personnel removed their screening tables from the airlines’ counters.
The new executive order requires the use of screening machines, rather than manual means, to examine passengers’ luggage.