- July 1, 2021
UAE slams fresh ban on Lagos, Abuja flights
Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management having earlier allowed the safe resumption of passenger travel from South Africa, Nigeria and India has, barely about 48 hours to the resumption of flight operations between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) imposed a fresh ban on Nigerian travellers and flights to and from the country.
Besides the ban on Nigeria, Emirates also said that flights from South Africa will remain suspended until July 6 in line with government directives that restrict the entry of travellers originating from South Africa, into the UAE.
The UAE’s national carrier was recently billed to return to Nigeria after a temporary withdrawal following the fall-out with the Nigerian authority about three months ago over multiple COVID-19 tests regime.
However, the airline in a new travel advisory said customers travelling to and from Lagos and Abuja will not be accepted for travel, and those who have been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days are not permitted to board from any other point to the UAE. The ban, which took effect on June 21 will, thus, continue until further notice.
“We regret the inconvenience caused, and affected customers should contact their booking agent or Emirates call centre for rebooking. Emirates remains committed to Nigeria, and we look forward to resuming passenger services when conditions allow”, the airline said.
The suspension of Emirates Airlines and Etihad’s withdrawal from Nigerian airspace did cost the country at least a 20 per cent decline in international passenger traffic.
Addressing the development, Chairman of the Airline Passenger Joint Committee (APJC) and CEO of Finchglow Travels, Bankole Bernard, said that the continued absence of UAE airlines was unfortunate with a significant impact on passenger traffic.
Bernard affirmed that the market’s erstwhile recovery of 45%, as of March 2021, has slumped to 15% following the withdrawal.