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Nigeria, UAE row ends as FG reinstates Emirates’ 21 weekly flights

The diplomatic spat between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been resolved as the Federal Government yesterday restored Emirates Airline’s winter schedule comprising…

The diplomatic spat between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been resolved as the Federal Government yesterday restored Emirates Airline’s winter schedule comprising 21 frequencies to Nigeria.

However, Emirates Airlines which had suspended all flights to Nigeria temporarily in the wake of the fresh row is yet to react to the latest development.

It was learned yesterday that the airline might resume flights immediately in order to cater for thousands of its passengers whose flights were affected by the development. 

The Emirates Airlines’ restriction took effect last week but the issue has been resolved barely a week after. 

Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), Musa Nuhu, in a letter addressed to the Country Manager, Emirates Airlines said the carrier’s winter schedule has been restored.

The letter read: “Following the further consultations with various stakeholders and the letter from Dubai CAA with reference number DCAA/ASA/N-3/016 dated 17th December 2021 offering Air Peace Airlines daily slots to Dubai airports, I wish to inform you of the reinstatement of the ministerial approval of Emirates Airlines Winter Schedule.

“The approval is predicated on compliance with the Dubai Travel Protocol as released by Dubai airports on Friday 26th November 2021 as it affects travelers traveling from Nigeria to UAE.”

It would be recalled that the Federal Government through the NCAA withdrew the 21 weekly flights approved for Emirates and restricted the airline’s flight to one.

The NCAA Director-General said the decision followed the refusal of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to grant the three frequencies requested by Air Peace, the only Nigerian carrier operating to Dubai via Sharjah.

Following the development, Emirates suspended all its flights to Nigeria pending when the issues between UAE and Nigeria are resolved.

The Middle East country later bowed to pressure, granting seven slots to Nigeria’s flag carrier, Air Peace, to operate to Dubai International Airports.

But Emirates has is yet to speak on the resumption of its flights to Nigeria.

Similarly, Air Peace has not released its schedule to Dubai where it now has seven frequencies as of the time of filing this report.

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