• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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House of Rep moves to resolve Air Peace, Emirates row

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Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the House of Representatives, on Tuesday said the national assembly has weighed in to resolve the row between Air Peace, a local carrier, and its UAE counterpart, Emirates Airlines.

Gbajabiamila spoke after a closed-door meeting with stakeholders, including Geoffrey Onyema, minister of foreign affairs; Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation; Allen Onyema, CEO of Air Peace, and representatives of Emirates Airline.

A source who attended the meeting told BusinessDay that after the hearing the Government had a closed-door dialogue with Air Peace and Emirates and the discussion was said to be robust and cordial between all parties.

He said Emirates restated respect for the Nigerian Government and Nigerian people and looks forward to full flights resumption very soon

“After the closed-door session, House Speaker Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila stated that remarkable progress has been made and the matter would all be fully resolved very soon so business can continue in the interest of Nigerian travelers,” the source told BusinessDay.

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had recently reduced Emirates’ flight operations into the country.

The aviation authority had said despite granting Emirates winter flight schedule to operate 21 weekly passenger flights to Nigeria, the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) denied Air Peace equal rights to Sharjah international airport.

Air Peace had requested a slot of three weekly flights from Nigeria to Sharjah Airport, but only one was granted by the UAE’s GCAA.

Addressing journalists after the meeting, Gbajabiamila said the UAE has good diplomatic relations with Nigeria, adding the current row would not be allowed to mar the longstanding friendship.

The speaker said appropriate steps have been taken to resolve the issue, adding that “in the next couple of days, this matter will be sealed, I believe. We’re engaged in parliamentary diplomacy. That’s what we’re doing.”