The Federal Government and United Arab Emirates (UAE), reactivated direct flight operations between the two countries after almost a year of diplomatic back and forth.
The Nigerian government, in reaction to a request from the UAE, reinstated Emirates Airlines Winter Schedule with immediate effect.
The Arabian government had earlier rescinded its travel restrictions on Nigerian travellers and citizens of 11 other African countries. The reversal, which took effect last Saturday, will have Nigerians and others that had visited Nigeria welcome into Dubai.
Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu, yesterday, said following the review and acceptance of the “Safety Decision 2021-02 Issue 24” as released by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) by the Federal Government, the Minister of Aviation has approved the reinstatement of Emirates Airlines flights into Lagos and Abuja.
Consequently, “Air peace and UAE’s airlines are at liberty to resume scheduled passenger flights between Nigeria and UAE under the terms and conditions of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between the two countries,” Nuhu said.
The DG added that all parties must ensure strict compliance with the COVID-19 Travel Protocols of both countries.
He reassured the travelling public that the Federal Government would continue to ensure the provision of air services while protecting national interests at all times.
Diplomatic lockjam between Nigeria and UAE had lingered in the last year with tit-for-tat measures from both ends. Recently, both parties agreed on friendly commercial air transport services until Omicron restrictions upset the apple cart.
With European countries relaxing travel protocols, the UAE lifted a ban on passengers coming from Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, the Republic of Congo, South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) said those travelling from those countries would have to obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test 48 hours prior to departure and a negative rapid-PCR test at the departure airport. Passengers will also be tested on arrival.