Following the decision of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to limit the flight activities of Emirates Airline to one flight per week, the airline has announced the suspension of all its flights between Nigeria and Dubai from December 13.
The Airline announced the development in a press statement issued on Friday.
“With the recently imposed directive limiting Emirates to operate one flight per week to Nigeria via Abuja, Emirates will be suspending its flights between Nigeria and Dubai from 13 December 2021, until the UAE and Nigerian authorities work on a solution to the ongoing issue,” the statement from Emirates said
“The last flights to operate on 12 December 2021are EK 783/784 to/from Lagos and EK 785/786 to/from Abuja
“Customers holding tickets with the final destinations Lagos and Abuja will not be accepted at the point of origin.
“Affected customers do not need to call us immediately for rebooking. Customers can simply hold on to their Emirates ticket and when flights resume, get in touch with their travel agent or booking office to make new travel plans.
“Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused.
“In order to receive the latest updates on their flights, customers are also advised to ensure that their contact details are correct by visiting Manage Your Booking
“Emirates is committed to its operations in Nigeria, and we stand ready to reinstate services once restrictions are lifted by the Nigerian authorities, ensuring travelers have more choice and access to trade and tourism opportunities in Dubai, and beyond to our network of over 120 destinations.”
This development is the latest in the ongoing row between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.
Earlier on Friday, the Federal Government announced the reduction of Emirates Airlines’ flight operations to Abuja airport from daily to once per week.
In a letter dated December 9 and addressed to the country manager, Emirates Airlines, Nigeria, the NCAA said that the new schedule becomes effective on Sunday, December 12, 2021.
The letter was signed by Musa Nuhu, NCAA director-general.
“I wish to inform you of the withdrawal of the approval granted to Emirates Airlines Winter Schedule. This approval was conveyed via a letter with reference number FMA/ATMD/501/C.104/XV/536 dated December 1, 2021,” the statement reads.
“This withdrawal becomes effective on Sunday, December 12, 2021, at 2300h. Please kindly note, henceforth, Emirates Airlines is granted approval to operate only one weekly passenger frequency to Abuja on Thursdays.
“Please be guided accordingly. Do accept the assurances of my highest regards.”
Emirates is the largest airline and one of two flag carriers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — the other is Etihad Airways.
Last Sunday, Emirates resumed flight operations to Nigeria after almost ten months of diplomatic row around COVID-19 travel requirements for Nigerian passengers.
In February, the airline had instructed Nigerian travelers at the Lagos and Abuja airports to take another PCR test on arrival at Dubai — the directive led to a ban on Emirates flights in Nigeria.
The decision was later reversed when the airline agreed to stop the rapid antigen tests.
In a twist in March, the federal government reintroduced the ban, explaining that Emirates had continued to conduct tests for passengers before departure and at arrival in Dubai.