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Emirates Airlines resumes direct flight from Nigeria as Dubai, FG settle dispute

Emirates Airlines have resumed flight operations to Nigeria following the settlement of dispute with the federal government.

• November 27, 2021
Fly Emirate plane used to illustrate the story. [PHOTO CREDIT: Emirate Web Page]
Fly Emirate plane used to illustrate the story. [PHOTO CREDIT: Emirate Web Page]

Emirates Airlines have resumed flight operations to Nigeria following the settlement of dispute with the federal government.

Dubai authorities had previously mandated a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test (RDT) for travellers visiting Dubai from Nigeria and selected countries. The test was to be taken four hours before departure.

The requirement irked Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, who described it as “discriminatory profiling” who said the 72-hours PCR test should suffice and insisted that RDT tests should not be conducted on Nigerian passengers four hours before flight.

Due to the conflict of interests and inability to resolve differences, Nigeria suspended Emirates flight operations in and out of the country indefinitely.

The aviation minister has however made a U-turn, lifting the suspension on Friday night.

Mr Sirika in the company of Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyema, made the announcement at the Federal Ministry of Aviation headquarters in Abuja.

This was in response to UAE who dropped the RDT requirement for passengers coming from Nigeria.

“We are all aware of the situation of Emirates Airlines operations in Nigeria. So today we received communication removing some of the conditions for travel which we had concerns about.

“And having done so, and being the only impediments to their operations, we also accept to lift the ban on the operations of Emirates to the country beginning from today. This is a product of lengthy negotiations between us and them,” the minister said.

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