The self-styled National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland closed Niger's airspace to all civilian flights on the evening of August 7.

According to a NOTAM, the closure went into effect at 2322L (2222Z) on August 6 and will remain in place indefinitely. In addition, all major airports in the country - Niamey, Zinder, Agadez, Tahoua, and Maradi - have also been closed to all traffic.

The decision was announced after the junta rejected an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) ultimatum, which threatened military intervention if deposed President Mohamed Bazoum was not reinstated.

The closure of the airspace has forced international carriers to adjust their flight paths. An Air France (AF, Paris CDG) flights from Johannesburg O.R. Tambo and Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta were diverted to Abidjan, while its service from Libreville Leon M'Ba returned to Gabon. The carrier also cancelled departures from Lagos, Abidjan, and Yaoundé Nsimalen. The airline has suspended flights to Niamey until further notice and to neighbouring capitals Ouagadougou and Bamako tentatively through August 11.

British Airways (BA, London Heathrow) flights from and to Johannesburg turned around and returned to their origin airports, while the airline's service from Cape Town International diverted to Lagos for fuel before continuing to London Heathrow. The Virgin Atlantic service from Johannesburg also diverted to Lagos.

The closure is particularly problematic as detours are only feasible to the west since Libya, Niger's north-eastern neighbour, remains off-limits to most European carriers on safety grounds.

Niger is poorly served by international airlines. The ch-aviation schedules module shows that all international flights into the country operated to Niamey and were mostly operated by African carriers: Air Côte d'Ivoire, Tunisair, Air Algérie, Ethiopian Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, ASKY Airlines, Air Burkina, and Libyan Airlines. The country was also served by Air France and Turkish Airlines. Niger does not have an active domestic carrier.