Sunday, January 16, 2022

FG lifts Emirates’ flight suspension

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From Uche Usim, Abuja

 

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Emirates, a Dubai-based airline, can now resume flight operations into Nigeria as the Federal Government has lifted its months of suspension. The development forced Nigerian passengers going to United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other destinations via other African airlines.

Emirates suspended direct flights to Nigeria owing to a disagreement with Nigerian authorities on the modalities for Covid-19 testing.

The Nigerian government on its part stopped Emirates from subjecting Nigerian travellers to additional rapid antigen tests, against its stipulated negative PCR tests at the Lagos and Abuja airports before departure.

Emirates then halted flights to and from Nigeria. But flights resumed after talks between authorities of the aviation ministry and Emirates Airlines. Emirates, however, continued to conduct tests on passengers before departure from Nigeria.

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The decision irked Nigerian authorities, which consequently suspended the airline from flying to and from Nigeria.

Emirates initially said it was going to resume flights on June 23. But it said in a statement that month that it was suspending its flight to and from Nigeria from June 21 without setting a resumption time. Several resumption dates have been announced and later cancelled.

However, announcing the latest suspension in a statement, the Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, through the spokesman of the Aviation Ministry, Dr James Odaudu, said flight suspension was in direct response to the yearnings of Nigerians, adding that the deal came after painstaking negotiations with the UAE, Emirates Airlines home country.

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Odaudu said that Sirika, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Oyeama and the National Incidence Manager of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Dr Muktar Mohammed, briefed newsmen that UAE had also removed all travel restrictions on Nigerians.

The post FG lifts Emirates’ flight suspension appeared first on VELOXNEWS.


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