The federal government has again reinstated the flight approval for Emirates Airlines.
This is contained in a letter from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Tuesday, titled “Re-instatement of Ministerial Approval of Emirates Airlines Winter Schedule”
“Following further consultations with various stakeholders and the letter from Dubai CAA with reference number DCAA/ASA/N-3/016 dated 17th December 2021 offering Air Peace Airlines daily slots at Dubai Airports (DXB), I wish to inform you of the reinstatement of the Ministerial approval of Emirates Airlines Winter Schedule,” the letter said.
The letter notes that approval follows the fulfillment of requirements listed in Dubai Travel Protocol.
The new development follows Emirates Airlines suspending all flights to Nigeria last week as reported and is the latest in the diplomatic row between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.
The Emirates Airlines had its flight approval withdrawn by NCAA following the refusal of UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to grant equal rights to Air Peace to fly to Dubai via Sharjah.
Flights between Nigeria and Dubai resumed barely two weeks ago after months of diplomatic spat between the two countries over COVID-19 regulations for travellers.
Dubai authorities had previously mandated a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test (RDT) for travellers visiting Dubai from Nigeria and selected countries.
The test was to be taken four hours before departure.
Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, who described it as “discriminatory profiling”, said the 72-hours PCR test should suffice and insisted that RDT tests should not be conducted on Nigerian passengers four hours before flight.