UAE backs down, FG lifts suspension on Emirates

The United Arab Emirates has withdrawn the requirements for Rapid Antigen Testing (RDT) prior to departure of Emirates flights from Nigeria with immediate effect until such a time that the required infrastructure is made available by the Nigerian government.

This came few hours after the Federal Government in a show of strength barred Emirates from operating to Nigeria.

For what it described violations of its directives on testing of departing passengers, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) suspended Emirates from operating flights to Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) effective 72 hours from Thursday midnight for violating COVID-19 directives and protocol issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF).

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Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika

As a result of the withdrawal of the RDT by the UAE government, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Presidential Task Force (PTF) directed the immediate lifting of the suspension of Emirates Airlines operations in Nigeria.

This was conveyed to the airline in a letter dated February 5, 2021 after the carrier responded to the aviation regulatory body’s letter with reference NCAA/DG/AIR11/16/285 dated February 4, 2021.

The NCAA  in the letter stated that it is expected that Emirates will continue to comply with the directive of the PTF on COVID -19 and other protocols of the Federal Government of Nigeria .

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“Emirates Airlines will be duly informed of on-going enforcement  actions by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) with regards to the established non-compliance to PTF directives and protocols as enumerated in our letter dated February 4, 2021

Wole Shadare