The federal government on Friday lifted ban on Emirates after UAE government granted approval to Emirates Airline to withdraw the requirements for Rapid Antigen Testing (RPT) prior to departure of Emirates flights to from Nigeria.
This development is coming few hours after the federal government through the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) suspended Emirates from operating flights to Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) effective 72 hours from Thursday midnight for violating presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 (PFT) directives and COVID-19 protocols.
On February 1, Dubai sent a circular to air passengers requesting that Emirates Airline would have to conduct a compulsory rapid test onboard four hours before flight departs from Nigeria.
But in a a letter by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) dated February 5th addressed to the Country manager, Emirates Airline, signed by Musa Nuhu, director general, NCAA, it states “We have carefully read your response to our letter of 4th February and arrived at the understanding that the UAE government granted approval to Emirates Airline to withdraw the requirements for Rapid Antigen Testing (RPT) prior to departure of Emirates flights to from Nigeria with immediate effect until such a time that the required infrastructure is made available by the Nigerian government.
“Based on the foregoing, the Presidential Task Force on (PTF) has directed the immediate lifting of the suspension of Emirates Airlines operations in Nigeria.
“It is therefore expected that Emirates Airlines will continue to comply with the directives of the PTF on COVID-19 and other protocols of the federal government of Nigeria,” the letter reads.
In a statement issued by Emirates Airline, it confirmed that it will continue to operate services to Abuja and Lagos airports.
“Emirates can confirm that we will continue to operate services to Abuja and Lagos. We are strongly committed to Nigeria, and would like to thank the local authorities for their trust and support. We look forward to continuing to safely connect our customers, and meet air travel demand from Nigeria to and through Dubai to Emirates’ global network,” – the statement reads.