Niger bans French planes from flying over its airspace.


Niger bans French planes: Niger’s military rulers have banned “French planes” from flying through the country’s airspace, according to the website of the African-Madagascar Agency for the Safety of Aeronautics (ASECNA).

An Air France Airbus A320 takes off from Toulouse-Blagnac airport on February 10, 2015 CREDIT:© Pascal Pavani, AFP

Niger’s airspace “is open to all domestic and international commercial flights, except for French aircraft or aircraft chartered by France, including Air France aircraft,” Niger said in a statement late Saturday. The airspace will remain closed to “all military, combat and other special flights” unless prior permission is obtained, the source said.

Air France simply told AFP that it “did not fly over Nigerian airspace”. Niger reopened its airspace for commercial flights on September 4 after it was closed for almost a month.
The West African country then announced on August 6 that it would close its airspace due to “threats of interference from neighboring countries” and threats by the Economic Community of West African States to take military action to restore ousted democratically elected President Mohamed Bazuma. On July 26, there was a coup.

France has repeatedly supported the West African bloc, and relations between Paris and Niamey have been at an all-time low since the coup.


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