• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Nigeria considers banning flights from UAE, Netherlands

More troubles for airlines, passengers as aviation fuel hits N625 per litre

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has threatened to ban flights from the UAE and the Netherlands as a reciprocal action.

The task force said the Ministry of Aviation and its relevant agencies have been mandated to take the necessary reciprocal measures as may be permissible under the laws and other international obligations expected to be discharged against Emirates airlines operating from the UAE and other airlines from the Netherlands.
Boss Mustapha, the Chairman of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, disclosed this at a briefing of the committee in Abuja on Monday.

Mustapha said: “For over a month, Nigeria has been engaged with the authorities of the UAE and The Netherlands over pre-departure testing requirements passengers should meet before travelling.
According to him, the PTF has mandated the Ministry of Aviation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, to take necessary reciprocal measures as may be permissible under the laws and other international obligations which we are expected to discharge.

The Nigeria government in February had earlier banned Emirates temporarily because the airline violated guidelines issued by the COVID-19 PTF. But the ban was suspended following an agreement reached between both countries to put infrastructures in place for the rapid antigen test in Nigeria.

The Nigerian government through the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), in line with the demands of the UAE, had listed guidelines for the requisition of space by medical laboratories and airlines in the country for the establishment of Rapid Antigen COVID-19 test centres at the airport.

This has made the Middle East carrier, Emirates Airlines to shift its resumption date from March 10th to March 20th.

Since early February Emirates had suspended flights to Nigeria over a disagreement on the RDT. UAE insist that any Nigerian flying to Dubai must fly direct from Lagos or Abuja and should do a Rapid Antigen Test at the airport 4 hours before the flight even after procuring a negative PCR test certificate.

This was rejected by Nigerians leading to the suspension of flights. Air Peace the Only Nigerian Airline flying to UAE Airport of Sharjah had to also suspended flights.

Meanwhile, Emirates Airlines has said passengers’ services from Nigeria to Dubai remains temporarily suspended until 20, March 2021.

The airline in a statement said customers from both Abuja and Lagos will not be accepted for travel prior to or including the date given.

It stated that passengers who have been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days are not allowed entry into the UAE (whether terminating in or connecting through Dubai).

The carrier said Emirates flights from Dubai to Lagos and Abuja will continue to operate as per the normal schedule. Emirates flies in passengers to Nigeria and returns back to Dubai without passengers.