THE government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said that the suspension earlier placed on Nigerian flights have been extended to March 10, 2021.
This was disclosed in a travel advisory posted on the website of Emirates airline, the official carrier of the UAE, on Sunday.
The advisory titled ‘Temporary Suspension of Flights from Nigeria to Dubai until 10 March’ read that passengers from Abuja and Lagos international airports would not be allowed into UAE until March 10th.
“In line with government directives, passenger services from Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) to Dubai are temporarily suspended until 10 March 2021,” the statement read in part.
The UAE government maintained that passengers who had been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days were not allowed entry into the UAE (whether terminating in or connecting through Dubai).
The ICIR had earlier reported the issues surrounding the suspension of outbound Nigerian flights to Dubai, the UAE capital.
Both the Nigerian and UAE government have disagreed over the COVID-19 protocol and guidelines placed by each government respectively.
While the Nigerian government had approved the use of PCR COVID-19 tests for Nigerians travelling outside the country, the UAE government insisted that an RDT test should be taken before Nigerians were allowed into the country.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said it discovered that Emirates had been requesting an additional RDT test from Nigerian passengers done at unapproved centres, which was a violation of the federal government’s guideline.
According to Sam Adurogboye, spokesperson for the NCAA, the position of the Nigerian government was that the UAE should either accept the PCR test or suspend its operations until further development.
“When we saw the violation, we placed a ban and they wrote to us again, pledging to abide by our own position. Now, we gave them two conditions: It’s either you bring in passengers and don’t take out or suspend your operations. They chose to opt for one of the conditions until a certain period,” Adurogboye told The ICIR.