The federal government says it has lifted restrictions on Emirates flights — ten months after the diplomatic discussions around COVID-19 travel requirements on Nigerian passengers.
Emirates Airline is the flag carrier of the UAE
Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, said this on Friday.
Sirika said the airline had removed some of its travelling conditions for Nigeria.
“Today, we received communications from Emirates removing some of the conditions for travelling for which we had concerns,” he said.
“Having done that, it is necessary to lift the ban on Emirates.
” This subsequent lifting of the ban is a product of lengthy negotiations between us and them.”
Direct flights between both countries were suspended in March over issues relating to COVID-19 test requirements.
In February, Emirates directed Nigerian travellers at the Lagos and Abuja airports to conduct rapid COVID-19 tests before departure, which led to a ban on Emirates flights in Nigeria.
The ban was later lifted after the airline agreed to stop the rapid antigen tests.
In a twist in March, the federal government reintroduced the ban, explaining that Emirates had continued to conduct rapid antigen tests for passengers before departure from Nigeria.
The NCAA had said the moves by Emirates violated the country’s COVID-19 protocols — minister of aviation, described it as “discriminatory profiling” of Nigerian travellers.