Are you planning on travelling out of Nigeria and you are looking for International airports in Nigeria that offer services you need? Then you are in the right place. Below is a guide to overseas airports in Nigeria with their IATA & ICAO codes, and major routes for international flights.
International airports are airports that provide appropriate customs and border control facilities to enable passengers to travel between countries. Some international airports may also offer domestic flights within the country the airport is located.
In Nigeria, there are 5 functional International airports, all operated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). These airports offer both domestic flights, and international flights to passengers travelling to various destinations abroad. Before listing international airports in Nigeria and their ICAO & IATA airport codes, let us look at what those codes mean.
- ICAO Codes are codes issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); an agency of the United Nations that sets and follows standards and recommends best practices for international air navigation. These codes are 4-letter codes issued to an airport based on the region and country it is located. It is used by air traffic controllers and pilots for communication.
- IATA Codes are codes issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) which is a trade association of airlines in the world. IATA represents about 290 airlines or 82% of total air traffic, supports various aviation activities, and makes industry policies on critical aviation issues. IATA airport codes are 3-letter geographical code assigned to airports based on cities where the airport is located or the name of the airport itself. These codes are used for location identification and communication.
Airport Name, City, State
|Akanu Ibiam International AirportEnugu, Enugu State|
|Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, FCT||DNAA||ABV|
|Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano, Kano State||DNKN||KAN|
|Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos, Lagos State||DNMM||LOS|
|Port Harcourt International Airport Port Harcourt, Rivers State||DNPO||PHC|
Now you know what ICAO and IATA airport codes are, let us look at international airports in more details.
Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA)
Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) is an international airport located in Lagos State and is considered to be Nigeria’s busiest airport. Originally known as Lagos International airport, its history dates back to World War II. During the construction of its international terminal over 40 years ago, it was renamed after Murtala Muhammed, the fourth military ruler of Nigeria.
This airport has an International and cargo terminals which are open 24 hours daily, as well as a domestic terminal which opens 16 hours daily. The two terminals are located approximately 1 kilometre from each other and share a runway. Restaurants and duty-free stores are also available. Many international airlines such as Air France, Air Italy, British Airways, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic etc., have landing rights to MMIA.
Murtala Muhammed airport has undergone multiple reconstructions and improvements to meet quality standards, with the most recent renovation being in 2013. According to the FAAN, this recent improvement which was completed in late 2014, led to the expansion of the MMIA lounge area to four times its previous size, and also the installation of new passenger handling conveyor systems which can handle 1,000 passengers per hour. FAAN’s estimate of people that travel through MMIA every year is about 5 million and another 3 million through the domestic terminal.
Major International routes
- For passenger services, major routes & destinations of airlines in MMIA are: Abidjan, Abu Dhabi, Accra, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Atlanta, Banjul, Beirut, Cairo, Casablanca, Dakar-Diass, Doha, Douala, Dubai, Frankfurt, Freetown, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Kigali, Libreville, Lomé, London, Luanda, Malabo, Milan-Malpensa, Monrovia, Nairobi, New York, Paris, and Sharjah.
- For cargo services, their routes are: Accra, Addis Ababa, Bamako, Brussels, Cotonou, Doha, Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Kigali, Liège, London, Luxembourg, Malabo, Miami, N’Djamena, Nairobi, Ostend/Bruges, Paris, Santiago de Chile, and Săo Paulo.
Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport
Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport is an International airport located in Abuja. Named after the first President of Nigeria; Nnamdi Azikiwe, it is the main airport serving Abuja. It was built in 2000 and opened in 2002, and is considered to be the second busiest airport in Nigeria. It has a terminal for international flights and another for domestic flights. Both terminals share a runway.
This airport has also undergone several renovations and in December 2018, was commissioned a new terminal building by President Muhammadu Buhari. According to FAAN, about 3 million passengers travel through the airport yearly. International airlines such as RwandAir, Turkish Airlines, British Airways, ASKY Airlines, Emirates, among others, have landing rights to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
Major International Routes/Destinations
It includes Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Cairo, Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kigali, Lomé, London, N’Djamena, and Paris.
Port Harcourt International Airport
Port Harcourt International Airport is an international airport located in Omagwa, a suburban area of Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The airport has two terminals for international and domestic flights each. The new international terminal was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018 and is fully operational. This airport allows direct air connections between Nigeria and major destinations around the world.
Just like other international airports, it has gone through renovations and repairs to improve its standards. FAAN estimates the number of passengers that travel through Port Harcourt International Airport since 2009 is at about 1 million annually, making it the third busiest airport in Nigeria.
Major International Routes
- For passenger services: Accra, Frankfurt, Istanbul, and Malabo
- For cargo services: Liège, Luxembourg, and Paris
Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport
Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport is an international airport located in Kano, the capital city of Kano State, and is the oldest airport in Nigeria. Named after a prominent politician; Aminu Kano, it is the main airport serving northern Nigeria. It serves civilian and military flights and has 2 runway for this purpose. It has an international terminal and a domestic terminal.
Facilities in the departure lounge are; a newsstand near the check-in counter, a small bar, and a small VIP lounge for business class passengers. The airport is a major hub Muslim going on pilgrimages to Mecca.
Major International Routes
- For passenger services: Addis Ababa, Asmara, Cairo, Khartoum, Medina, N’Djamena, and seasonal charter to Jeddah
- For cargo services: Cairo, Jeddah, Dakar, and Istanbul
Akanu Ibiam International Airport
Also known as Enugu airport, Akanu Ibiam International Airport is located at Enugu, the capital city Enugu State. It serves the state and nearby cities in other states. The airport is named after late Sir Akanu Ibiam, who was the First Governor-General of the old Eastern Region.
Akanu Ibiam International Airport has undergone extensive renovation and expansion works to meet up its new status as an international airport. The first stage of renovation was in February 2010. The second and third phase is still ongoing.
Major International Routes
Currently, Akanu Ibiam International Airport only offers international flights to Addis Ababa through Ethiopian Airlines.
Sadiq Abubakar III International Airport (ICAO: DNSO, IATA: SKO)
Sadiq Abubakar III International Airport is an airport located in Sokoto, the capital city of Sokoto State. It is not regarded as a fully functional international airport because it only provides seasonal international flights to Jeddah during Hajj.
Major International Routes
Its only international route is a seasonal charter to Jeddah using Med-View Airlines.
The post covers all airports that currently offer international flights in Nigeria. I hope that this has provided you with useful information you need for your next trip abroad. You can share your thoughts and suggestions with me through the comment box below and also follow me on our social media accounts.