BY Wasilat Azeez
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has issued a travel restriction on passengers from Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This directive, the UAE said, is due to the surge in the countries’ COVID-19 cases from passengers of the two countries.
But TheCable understands that this development might not be unconnected with the recent diplomatic row between Nigeria and UAE.
Air Peace had requested for a slot of three weekly flights from Nigeria to Sharjah Airport in UAE, but only one was granted by the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
In retaliation to the UAE’s treatment of Air Peace, the federal government dropped Emirate’s slots from 21 to one.
The move made the Dubai-based Emirates suspend all its flights to Nigeria.
ThisDay quotes a directive from the UAE-bound airline as saying that the country has directed all carriers not to accept passengers from Nigeria and DR Congo.
“Due to an increasing number of COVID Positive passengers at the destination, it is decided to suspend accepting passengers to U.A.E. from Nigeria and Congo DRC (FIH) only. This is effective today, 13th December 2021,” the message reads.
Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and other airlines that fly Nigerians to Dubai via their operational hubs have started rejecting Nigerian passengers in compliance with the directive.
A source close to Ethiopian Airlines also confirmed the development to the newspaper.
“Today they have to offload Dubai passengers. So no airline wants to carry Nigerian passengers to Dubai. They said Nigerians are testing positive to COVID-19; that is why some airlines are not carrying them. It is just like they did the last time,” the source said.