Emirates, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) mega carrier has moved to reverse the decision of the federal government to restrict its operations from Nigeria, Daily Trust has learnt.
The federal government last Friday included Emirates in the list of airlines banned from operating to Nigeria with effect from Monday.
Before reopening the airports for international flights on September 5, the government banned about 10 airlines including Lufthansa, Air France, Etihad, KLM, among others.
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, then added Emirates in the latest list, saying the decision followed the meeting of the sub-committee of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 (PTF) with European Union Ambassadors.
The inclusion of Emirates was in fulfilment of its reciprocity policy to restrict approval to only airlines from countries that allow entry to Nigerians. UAE has not commenced issuance of visas to Nigerians.
A statement from Emirates confirmed the development: “Emirates remains committed to serving its two Nigerian points, Abuja and Lagos, to connect our customers to and through Dubai to Emirates’ global network, and meet the growing demand for air travel in and out of the country.
“Emirates is working closely with the UAE and Nigerian authorities, and will communicate any updates to our customers. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers in Nigeria.”
The airline resumed flights to Lagos and Abuja on September 7 and 9.
Emirates Regional Manager for West Africa, Afzal Parambil, said the process of resolving the matter had commenced. “Yes, we are working on it. I will update you once the matter is resolved,” he told Daily Trust.