Niger junta reopens airspace after coup – transport ministry

NIAMEY (Reuters) – Niger’s military leaders have reopened the country’s airspace to all commercial flights after closing it on Aug. 6 after they seized power in a coup, a transport ministry spokesperson said on Monday.

The closure had forced Air France and other European carriers to suspend some flights and take longer routes across the African continent. Landlocked Niger is more than twice the size of France and many flight paths across Africa would normally pass above it.

The junta had initially closed Niger’s airspace citing the threat of military intervention from the West African regional bloc. They did not immediately give a reason for lifting the ban.

(Reporting by Moussa Aksar; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Estelle Shirbon)