BusinessDay

FG lifts ban on Emirates, says UAE will now issue visas to Nigerians

The Federal Government has lifted the ban on Emirates Airline, saying the airline will now be allowed to operate into Nigeria.

Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, announced this via his Twitter handle @hadisirika.

“UAE has written to state that they agree to issue visas to Nigerians, consequently a decision has been reached to allow Emirates to fly into Nigeria. Commencement of the Visa issuance is condition precedent. Please bear with this unusual situation,” Sirika tweeted.

Few weeks ago, the Federal Government barred Emirates Airlines from operating in Nigeria.

It was learnt that the decision to withdraw the approval was due to the refusal of United Arab Emirates (UAE) government to lift visa ban on Nigerians and as a result the Federal Government reciprocated by withdrawing the approval given to Emirates to operate into the country.

In a tweet then, Sirika had explained that the decision to revoke the approval was arrived at after a meeting with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had with European Union Ambassadors, who wanted to review their status.

“The PTF sub committee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban. The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed & they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st Sept. 2020,” he had tweeted.

This came following the Federal Government resolve two months ago to enforce the principle of reciprocity in granting permission to airlines to resume operations.

Before the resumption of international flights in the country, the Federal Government had announced that Air France, KLM, Etihad, RwandAir, Air Namibia, Royal Air Maroc, Lufthansa, TAAG Angola Airlines were not granted approval to commence flight operations.

Cabo Verde and South African airlines were also denied approval as international flights had yet to resume in their countries.