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Emirates reluctant to resume Nigeria-UAE route, announces suspension till Aug. 20

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EMIRATES airline, flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has announced that flights to and from Nigeria will remain suspended until August 20.

According to the travel update on Emirates’ website, customers who have been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days will not be permitted on any Emirates flights bound for Dubai.

“Affected flight bookings have been cancelled. Our Contact Centres are experiencing a greater volume of calls than anticipated. If your call is not related to travel within the next 48 hours, please consider calling back later,” the airline stated.

Emirates’ position countermands an earlier statement released by the National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority (NCEMA) on August 3 announcing the resumption of flights between Nigeria, Uganda, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India.

The NCEMA said passengers travelling from countries where flights had been banned, including Nigeria, would be able to transit through its airports from August 5, provided that they presented negative PCR coronavirus tests taken 72 hours prior to departure.

However, without providing any explanation, Emirates airline had insisted that flights to and from Nigeria would remain suspended until August 15, now moved to August 20.

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This is not the first time flight resumption between the UAE and Nigeria has been stalled. In June, the airline maintained that flights with Nigeria would remain suspended indefinitely, even after the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai had announced that travel protocol for inbound passengers from Nigeria would become effective from June 23. 

Flights between both countries have been suspended since March 17 over disagreement relating to COVID-19 testing.

Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika has accused the UAE of introducing a COVID-19 protocol that was not backed by science and tended to target only Nigerians, but the Asian country said its COVID-19 safety protocol was not targeted at Nigerians but was designed to protect the health and well-being of citizens, residents, and visitors. 

“Over the course of the past 12 months, the UAE has introduced a variety of special measures to govern travel between the UAE and a number of countries. These measures have sometimes been tailored to the particular characteristics of certain areas.

“These decisions have been taken after reviewing the prevalence of concerning variants, the number of passengers arriving from each country who subsequently test positive for COVID-19, and the integrity of domestic testing facilities. At no point has the UAE ever given certain airlines exemptions from these measures,” UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority stated. 

In addition to the suspension of flights to and from Nigeria, the UAE has also barred Nigerians from applying for work permits and placed visa restrictions on them. 

Director of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation in the UAE (NIDO-UAE) Fernando Judel told The ICIR that this restriction was only applicable to Nigerians.

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“If you want to apply (for work permits or visas), you would see a display in the dialogue box that it is restricted to this nationality being Nigeria. So the person cannot even apply at all,” Judel confirmed to this newspaper.

A source at Emirates, who is not authorised to speak, told this newspaper that the delay in flight resumption between Nigeria and the UAE was purely a government decision and had nothing to do with the airline.

“It has nothing to do with us. We have to oblige to what they say,” the source said. 

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Pls UAE & NIGERIA surth things out well quickly becus as for me now;I’m a lady of 25yrs and I av been working in Arab country they’re veri gud and nice even I can speak Arabic despite the fact dat I’m a Christian hummm… My family over there miss me a lot & me too also I miss Rasheed the most becus he’s very young I took care of him since he was 3 months always calling me here in Nigeria pls our good president in UAE pls help us we Nigeria youth to be back to our post ESHA-ALLAH SUKURAN 🌹🙏🙏💐💐UAE becus of this I could feed my single mother and my siblings Hayyak…..

  2. These days nothing excites me. I’m not surprised or amused or even baffled, after all being a Nigerian;either rich or poor is already a disadvantage. So they can do what they want…It won’t change anything. Besides, all these will end in death bcs life is not permanent.

  3. Please Nigerian government help us and solve whatever the problem with uae so that some of us that have job over there can go back. I applied for employment visa which supposed to have come out long time ago but because of this of this issue at hand wit the uae government my visa has been on hold and here in Nigeria I don’t have anything am doing and I don’t want to engage in bad things , so I plead wit our government to pls have mercy on us and sort t this issue wit uae so that we can go back to our work over there in uae.

  4. Bad governance. Swallow your pride and allow peace to reign between both. Students can’t travel, those at home for vacation can’t return. Your government is not creating job for citizens.
    All their children are living, studying and doing whatever they like in abroad.
    They don’t have anything to gain. The matter doesn’t affect anyone of them that is why they keep mute.
    Imagine, naija citizen can’t apply for job or renew their work permit over there just because they are Nigerians. Is it a crime to be a Nigerian?
    Nigeria government is suffering the citizens in diaspora. How long will you continue in this wicked act?
    Provide jobs for the youths, make the country a safe place to live so that people will stop travelling abroad in searching for green pastures and security.
    May God deliver Nigeria!

  5. Comment:MR PRESIDENT PLEASE HELP NIGERIA YOUTH BY SOLVING THE PROBLEM OF AIRLINE AM A STUDENT,HAVE BEEN EXPECTING MY TRIP SINCE APRIL NOTHING SHOW UP,PLS OOO.

  6. Nigeria government need to solve this matter with emirates.why is Nigeria always have bad record in this Earth…our Dear government should as Allow EMIRATES to continue there operations in Nigeria… there’s no job in Nigeria no single help of surviving. If you are not related to any politician nothing for you…iam pleading on Nigeria gv to consider the citizens.we have lost our jobs in Dubai due to flight Restrictions.. please

  7. Does it mean that Dubai residence holders that are fully vaccinated in UAE can’t travel back with other airlines like Qatar airways?

  8. Both conutry needs to resolve the matter before many people turn to jobless. It has been affected many people now e.g students, airlines, business, tourism, logistics and Nigerians leaving in UAE.

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