The Nigerian Federal Government has re-approved Emirates Airlines’ winter flight schedule, which includes 21 weekly passenger flight frequencies between Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport and Lagos’ Murtala Muhammad International Airport.
As a result of the pressure, the United Arab Emirates has granted Nigeria’s Air Peace Airline daily slots at Dubai Airport, in the spirit of reciprocity and the UAE-Nigeria Bilateral Air Service Agreement.
Capt Musa Nuhu, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, announced the restoration in a letter to Emirates Airlines’ Country Manager in Nigeria on Tuesday.
The NCAA also imitated the General Authority of Civil Aviation of the United Arab Emirates, as well as the Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
‘The FG approves Emirates 21 weekly flights as UAE allows Air Peace daily schedule,’ according to the NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/334 letter.
It read, ”Following further consultations with various stakeholders and the letter from Dubai Civil Aviation Authority with reference number DCAA/ASA/N-3/016 dated 17 December, 2021 offering Air Peace airline daily slots at Dubai Airport, I wish to inform you of the reinstatement of the ministerial approval of Emirates Airlines Winter Schedule.
”This approval is predicated on the compliance with the Dubai Travel Protocol as released by Dubai Airports on Friday 26 November, 2021 as it affects passengers travelling from Nigeria to UAE. Please be guided accordingly.”
Nigeria recently lifted a ban on Emirates Airlines flights to Nigeria, which had been in place for some months due to concerns over the UAE carrier’s requirements in the COVID-19 management.
Following the lifting of the ban, Nuhu stated that the UAE-based airline applied to the Federal Ministry of Aviation for approval of its winter flight schedule, which included 21 weekly passenger flight frequencies to Nigeria, and that the schedule was approved in the spirit and intent of the BASA between the two countries.
He was, however, dissatisfied that Air Peace Airlines, the only Nigerian carrier that flies passengers to Sharjah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates, had requested three weekly passenger flight frequencies but only received one.
Following that, Emirates Airline announced the suspension of its flights to Nigeria on Friday, citing an NCAA guideline limiting its operations in the country to one flight per week as the reason for its decision.
Nigeria has signed BASAs with over 90 nations, including the United Arab Emirates. Stakeholders have complained throughout the years that most air agreements between Nigeria and other nations have been one-sided, with Nigerian airlines unwilling to reciprocate the accords due to “aero-politics.”