The United Arab Emirates has lifted ban to stop foreign airlines from conveying passengers from Nigeria and Congo into the country.
The ban which was considered to be a retaliatory measure against Nigeria for withdrawing the flight frequencies given to Emirates airline after the Middle-East country refused to do same for a Nigerian carrier, was effected on Monday, December 13.
While a source who works with one of the foreign airlines told Daily Trust that the order came from UAE authorities, no foreign airline gave an official reason for de-boarding Nigerian passengers.
An email seen by Daily Sun which emanated from Ethiopian Airline on Monday, December 13, with the subject: Dubai Travel Restriction Update and reference No. PSA12/068/2021, read: “Due to an increasing number of COVID positive passengers at destination, it is decided to suspend accepting passengers to UAE from Nigeria and Congo DRC only. This is effective December 13, 2021. Please ensure 100 per cent compliance.”
Another source within Ethiopian Airline told Daily Sun that passengers from Nigeria that had booked tickets to travel to Dubai on December 13 and had boarded the plane were offloaded. “The excuse from Dubai was that they had gotten 37 positive covid cases, so they had to take measures to restrict movement. But not long after the directive to bar passengers was issued, they reversed themselves and are now accepting passengers from Nigeria,” the source said.
This is coming after the 21 weekly flight frequency given to Emirates Airline was withdrawn by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
The federal government instead gave Emirates airline one weekly slot in Abuja, following the refusal of Sharjah Airport Authorities and General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the UAE to give Air Peace the three slots it requested.