At last, Emirates Airline Resumes Abuja, Lagos Routes 9 months after suspension

Emirates Airline aircraft that landed at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, Sunday afternoon.

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau

As reported by Prompt News 72 hours ago, Emirates Airline on Sunday finally resumed its scheduled non-stop international flights between Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and two Nigerian cities of Abuja and Lagos after nine months of suspension of its operation by the Nigerian government.

A wide-bodied aircraft ETA flew into the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at exactly 15:40hrs (3:30pm local time) as was earlier revealed by the management of the airline in Nigeria which said Emirates will fly into Abuja with EK 785 and 786, leaving Dubai at 1100hrs, arriving in Abuja at 1540hrs.

The return flight, EK 786 was expected to take off from Abuja at 1900 on Sunday and will arrive in Dubai at 04:35hrs the on Monday just as the management of the airline are in Cloud 7 that they recorded a huge number of passengers in the inuagural flights.

A staff who pleaded anonymity told Prompt News that the large number of passengers who boarded the Abuja-Dubai flight were very impressive, pointing out that “the number of passengers we recorded on Sunday surpassed our projected threshold, we did not expect the large number of passengers we recorded on the first day of our resumption of flights operation in Nigeria”.

Prompt News reports that with the resumption of Dubai-Abuja and Dubai-Lagos international flights on Sunday, the diplomatic relations between United Arab Emirates and Nigeria may have been restored at least for now.

Nigeria-UAE diplomatic relations took a nose-dive early this year after Covid-19 pandemic-related testing procedures resulted in UAE taking a tough Covid-19 Testing Measures against Nigerian passengers of Emirates Airline.

Consequently, the harsh testing procedures imposed on the Nigerian passengers irked the Nigerian authorities who in turn slammed a ban on Emirates Airline as both UAE, the sole owners of the airline and Nigeria saw their diplomatic relations snapped.

However, reasons prevailed as the Federal Government last week through the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika lifted restrictions on Emirates Airlne flights almost ten months after the diplomatic discussions around COVID-19 travel requirements for Nigerian passengers were resolved by both countries.

Sirika said the airline had removed some of its travelling conditions for Nigerian passengers.

Also, Nigeria’s civil aviation authorities, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) who own the airspace and run the airports later granted Emirates Airline the permission to repossess its Counters at both the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja respectively.

Meanwhile, the management of the airline in conjunction with the Nigerian authorities are mandating strict COVID-19 PCR tests for all inbound passengers just as it was also understood that passengers from Nigeria will take the COVID-19 PCR test within three days before departure and another test on arrival in UAE.

This article first appeared on Airline News, global aviation community’s primary source of news, data, insight, knowledge and expertise.


Author: BetSuzy

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