Emirates airline on Saturday released a statement, stating that it is working closely with the governments of Nigeria and United Arabs Emirates (UAE) concerning the flight ban, said they will give updates on the progress of talks between the two countries to its customers as soon as they are ripe.
The airline said, it is still committed to serving its teeming customers on the two Nigerian routes, Lagos and Abuja, in a bid to meeting the growing demand for air travel in and out of the country.
“Emirates remains committed to serving its two Nigerian points, Abuja and Lagos, to connect our customers to and through Dubai to Emirates’ global network, and meet the growing demand for air travel in and out of the country. Emirates is working closely with the UAE and Nigerian authorities, and will communicate any updates to our customers. We look forward to continue serving our customers in Nigeria.”
Recall, that the Federal Government on Friday, September 15th, withdrew the approval given to Emirates Airline to fly into Nigeria with effect from Monday September, 21, 2020.
From speculations going round, the decision to withdraw the approval is due to the refusal of United Arab Emirates (UAE) government to lift visa ban on Nigerians and as a result the Federal Government reciprocated by withdrawing the approval given to Emirates to operate into the country.
Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika also revealed this via his official twitter handle.
He explained that the decision to revoke the approval was arrived at after a meeting with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had with European Union Ambassadors, who wanted to review their status.
“The PTF sub committee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban. The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed & they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st Sept. 2020.”
Sirika had on September 3, 2020 approved Emirates and 12 other international airlines to fly into the Murtala Muhammed International Airport(MMA), Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.
Some of the airline approved enjoyed dual designation from the Federal Government.
With this latest development, Emirates Airlines may stop flying into Nigeria airspace from Monday, September 21, 2020.