Diplomatic Row: FGN Lifts Emirates Lagos, Abuja Flights Embargo

The Nigerian Government has restored Emirates Airlines daily flights to Nigeria following the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority’s approval of Air Peace’s daily flight slots to Dubai Airport.

In a statement, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, said reinstatement of Emirates Airlines daily flights to Nigeria was conveyed in a letter to the Country Manager of Emirates Airlines in Nigeria.

The letter, dated December 21, 2021 and titled, “Re-instatement of Ministerial Approval of Emirates Airlines Winter Schedule” read in part: “Following further consultations with various stakeholders and the letter from the Dubai CAA with reference number DCAA/ASA/N-3/016, dated December 17, 2021 offering Air Peace Airlines daily slots at Dubai Airports, I wish to inform you the reinstatement of the ministerial approval of Emirates Airlines Winter Schedule.

“This approval is predicated on compliance with the Dubai Travel Protocol as released by Dubai Airports on Friday November 26, 2021 as it affects passengers traveling from Nigeria to UAE (United Arab Emirates). Please be guided accordingly, accept the assurances of my highest regards.”

The diplomatic row between Nigeria and UAE has persisted since the outbreak of COVID-19, and became worse after the outbreak of Omicron variant.

The NCAA boss exzplained that following the lifting of the ban on Emirates Airline passenger flights to Nigeria by the government, the UAE-based airline applied to Federal Ministry of Aviation for approval of its winter flight schedule adding that the requested schedule consists of 21 weekly passenger flight frequencies to Nigeria, including of two daily flights to the Murtala Mohammed Int’l Airport, Lagos and one daily flight to the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

Recall that in a recent statement, the Minister of Aviation approved the winter schedule of Emirates Airline as requested without any adjustment in the spirit of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement between Nigeria and UAE.

Air Peace, the only Nigerian airline that operated passenger flights to Sharjah International Airport in UAE, requested three weekly passenger flights and was granted only one weekly passenger flight.

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