Emirates Airline, flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), says flights to and from Nigeria will remain suspended until August 15.
This announcement comes days after UAE said it would lift the ban on transit passenger flights from six countries, including Nigeria, effective August 5.
The UAE National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority (NCEMA) had said that passengers would be able to transit through its airports from Thursday as long as they present negative PCR tests taken 72 hours before departure.
But in a travel update posted on its website on Wednesday, Emirates said passengers who had been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days will not be permitted on any Emirates’ flights bound for Dubai.
“Customers who have been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days will not be permitted on any Emirates flights bound for Dubai. Affected flight bookings have been cancelled,” the update reads.
The airline said passengers whose flights have been cancelled or impacted by route suspensions due to COVID-19 restrictions need not call the airline immediately for re-booking.
“You can simply hold on to your Emirates ticket and when flights resume, get in touch with us, or your booking office to make new travel plans,” Emirates noted.
Since March, scheduled flights between Nigeria and the UAE have been stopped following diplomatic row over COVID-19 protocol.
The UAE authorities had instructed Nigerian travellers at the Lagos and Abuja airports to take another PCR test on arrival in Dubai.
But Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, criticised the decision and termed it “discriminatory profiling” of Nigerian travellers.
TheCable had reported that authorities in Nigeria and UAE were engaging in diplomatic discussions over issues relating to the COVID-19 protocol.