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Emirates to resume flights to Nigeria in June – FG

UAE carrier, Emirates, is expected to resume its flights to Nigeria in June this year, the federal government has hinted. This is coming almost two…

UAE carrier, Emirates, is expected to resume its flights to Nigeria in June this year, the federal government has hinted.

This is coming almost two years after the airline suspended flights to Nigeria over issues bothering on trapped funds, among others.

Emirates had announced suspension of its flights from Nigeria with effect from September 1, 2022 over inability to repatriate funds.

“Emirates has tried every avenue to address our ongoing challenges in repatriating funds from Nigeria, and we have made considerable efforts to initiate dialogue with the relevant authorities for their urgent intervention to help find a viable solution.

“Regrettably there has been no progress. Therefore, Emirates has taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights to and from Nigeria, effective 1 September 2022, to limit further losses and impact on our operational costs that continue to accumulate in the market,” the airline had said.

However, the coast is getting clearer for the resumption of the flights, according to Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo.

Keyamo while appearing on Arise Morning Show on Monday said, “Emirates flight resumption is almost happening. I just received a letter from Emirates. The letter is on my phone now. They have gone through all the gamut and they are ready to come back. They will announce the date because to restart a route, they have to get an aircraft for that route.

“I am announcing to Nigerians for the first time; that I just received a letter from Emirates now. The letter is with me. I have a hard copy thanking you for all the efforts we made. Mr. President was the showman here. He was the one who pushed for it. He made my job easy because he went there, and had a diplomatic shuttle to resolve all the issues. That was why I said the last announcement was hasty and not fake news. They will announce the date for their next flight. We have received a letter confirming that all the issues have been resolved and prepared to start coming back. It may be before June.”

Daily Trust however reports that there are also issues of visa ban and work permit ban which have not been resolved between both countries even as many Nigerians are reportedly stranded over the development.

In a chat with Daily Trust, Alkasim Abdulkadir, Special Assistant on Media and Communications Strategy to Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, said discussions had reached an advanced stage to resolve issues with the UAE.

“Bilateral discussions between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on visa and flights restrictions are still ongoing. When completed, a joint statement will be issued via official channels,” he said.

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