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Emirates’ again suspends flights to Nigeria

Emirates has announced a suspension of flights to and from Nigeria until November 30.

The airline in a statement on its website said customers who have been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days will not be permitted on any Emirates flights.

“Affected flight bookings have been cancelled,” it stated.

The airline also advised customers affected by the suspension to simply hold on to their tickets until flights resume.

Disagreement between the airline

In 2020, at the outset of the global lockdown due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) national carrier Emirates airline had shut down flights to and from Nigeria owing to disagreement between the airline and the Nigerian aviation authorities on the propriety of subjecting passengers travelling from Nigeria to certain Covid-19 protocols upon arrival in Dubai.

Passengers from Nigeria were required to undergo fast COVID-19 testing at Lagos and Abuja airports in February this year, which resulted in a restriction on Emirates flights in Nigeria. After the airline agreed to stop doing the quick antigen tests, the restriction was lifted.

Bans on Emirates flights were reinstated in March after the federal government pointed out that the airline had continued to conduct pre-flight quick antigen tests.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, during a briefing by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Covid-19 on September 13, 2021, in Abuja expressed displeasure at the adoption of what he termed double standards by the UAE in the enforcement of its strict Covid-19 protocol which the alleged was targeted at Nigerians.

Recently, the House of Representatives intervene in the diplomatic dispute between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), before this new suspension of flights.

Reporting by Abdullahi Lamino, Editing by Saadatu Albashir