Despite FG’s lift on sanctions, Emirates yet to announce flight resumption

A day after the federal government lifted sanctions on Emirates, the airline is yet to announce flight resumption.

As at Saturday morning, information on the airline’s website states that Emirates direct flight operations to and from Nigeria is still on hold.

“Affected flight bookings have been cancelled. If your flight has been cancelled or impacted by route suspensions due to COVID-19 restrictions, you don’t need to call us immediately for rebooking. You can simply hold on to your Emirates ticket, and when flight resumes, get in touch with your booking office or us to make new travel plans,” the airline stated on its website.

But on Friday, the federal government lifted restrictions on Emirates Airlines — ten months after the diplomatic discussions around COVID-19 travel requirements on Nigerian passengers.

Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, who made the announcement, 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.”

In March, direct flights between both countries were suspended 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.