In Retaliatory Move, UAE Stops International Airlines from Flying Nigerian Passengers to Dubai
International carriers operating into Nigeria have confirmed a directive from United Arab Emirates that they should not airlift Nigerian travellers to Dubai.
Although this is not unconnected with the diplomatic impasse between Nigeria and United Arab Emirates (UAE), UAE claims that more Nigerians were testing positive to COVID-19.
THISDAY learnt that airlines had started rejecting Nigerian passengers going to Dubai, including Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Air and others, which airlift Nigerian via their operational hubs to Dubai.
An official of one of the airlines told THISDAY that the airline would not airlift Nigerians whose final destination is the UAE.
The airlines it was gathered insisted that they had been directed not to airlift Nigerian passport holders to Dubai.
”UAE says no entry for Nigerian passengers from any airline. Ethiopian just offloaded all passengers heading to Dubai. We are voiding Dubai bound tickets,” a source at Abuja airport confirmed.
A directive from one of the airlines stated, “Due to an increasing number of COVID-19 positive passengers at destination, it is decided to suspend accepting passengers to UAE from Nigeria, Congo DRC (FIH) only. This is effective today, 13th December, 2021.”
A source close to Ethiopian Airlines confirmed to THISDAY, “Today they have to offload Dubai passengers. So no airline wants to carry Nigerian passengers to Dubai. They said Nigerians are testing positive to COVID-19; that is why some airlines are not carrying them. It is just like they did the last time.”
Federal Government last Thursday stopped Emirates 20 frequencies a week and left the airline with only one flight to Abuja in response to UAE allocating only one flight a week to Air Peace, a Nigerian carrier.