FG Bars Emirates Airlines from Scheduled Operation to Nigeria

Hadi Sirika
Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika

Chinedu Eze

The federal government has announced that Middle East mega carrier; Emirates Airlines has been banned from scheduled, commercial operation to Nigeria in line with its policy of reciprocity over the rejection of Nigerians by some countries due to the COVID-19 regulation.

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika explained late yesterday that the airline was included in the list of airlines not allowed to operate in Nigeria as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Sirika made this known via his Twitter handle and said the decision was taken after a meeting between members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and European Union Ambassadors.

He said the ban would take effect from Monday, September 21, 2020.

“The PTF sub-committee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban. The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed and they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st September 2020,” he tweeted.

The EU Ambassadors decided to meet with the federal government over European carriers, which Nigeria barred from operating into the country in accordance to its policy on COVID-19 protocols and diplomatic principles.

Government before the reopening of international flight on September 5, 2020 made it clear that it would reciprocate the gesture of countries that barred Nigerians from their shores and has maintained the policy so far.

Emirates source told THISDAY that the reason why the federal government took that decision was because the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had not yet started issuing visas to Nigerians, but that would be resolved before the Monday date when the ban would take effect.

The source who told THISDAY that Emirates did not have official statement on the issue, said UAE would likely meet on the matter on Sunday, a day before the ban would take effect.