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Emirates Suspends All Flights As Nigeria, UAE Aviation Row Escalates

Emirates Airlines has suspended all its flights to Nigeria indefinitely. Emirates in an update on its website said all its flights to Nigeria would be suspended until the issues between UAE and Nigeria are resolved.



It said the action will take effect from Sunday.

The airline said, “With the recently imposed directive limiting Emirates to operate one flight per week to Nigeria via Abuja, Emirates will be suspending its flights between Nigeria and Dubai from 13 December 2021, until the UAE and Nigerian authorities work on a solution to the ongoing issue.

“The last flights to operate on 12 December 2021are EK 783/784 to/from Lagos and and EK 785/786 to/from Abuja

“Customers holding tickets with the final destinations Lagos and Abuja will not be accepted at the point of origin.

“Affected customers do not need to call us immediately for rebooking. Customers can simply hold on to their Emirates ticket and when flights resume, get in touch with their travel agent or booking office to make new travel plans.

“Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused. Emirates is committed to its operations in Nigeria, and we stand ready to reinstate services once restrictions are lifted by the Nigerian authorities, ensuring travelers have more choice and access to trade and tourism opportunities in Dubai, and beyond to our network of over 120 destinations”

Why FG Withdrew Extra Frequencies Approval To Emirates Airlines

Fresh facts have emerged on why the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) withdrew the ministerial approval granted Emirates Airlines by the Ministry of Aviation.

Aviation stakeholders who,however, hailed the decision of the federal government attributed the refusal of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to grant equal rights to sole Nigerian carrier, Air Peace flying to Dubai via Sharjah.

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Emirates Suspends All Flights As Nigeria, UAE Aviation Row Escalates
Yusuf Babalola, by Yusuf Babalola, 2 days ago Reading Time: 3 mins read
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Emirates Airlines has suspended all its flights to Nigeria indefinitely.

Emirates in an update on its website said all its flights to Nigeria would be suspended until the issues between UAE and Nigeria are resolved.

It said the action will take effect from Sunday.

The airline said, “With the recently imposed directive limiting Emirates to operate one flight per week to Nigeria via Abuja, Emirates will be suspending its flights between Nigeria and Dubai from 13 December 2021, until the UAE and Nigerian authorities work on a solution to the ongoing issue.

“The last flights to operate on 12 December 2021are EK 783/784 to/from Lagos and and EK 785/786 to/from Abuja

“Customers holding tickets with the final destinations Lagos and Abuja will not be accepted at the point of origin.

“Affected customers do not need to call us immediately for rebooking. Customers can simply hold on to their Emirates ticket and when flights resume, get in touch with their travel agent or booking office to make new travel plans.

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“Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused. Emirates is committed to its operations in Nigeria, and we stand ready to reinstate services once restrictions are lifted by the Nigerian authorities, ensuring travelers have more choice and access to trade and tourism opportunities in Dubai, and beyond to our network of over 120 destinations”

Why FG Withdrew Extra Frequencies Approval To Emirates Airlines

Fresh facts have emerged on why the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) withdrew the ministerial approval granted Emirates Airlines by the Ministry of Aviation.

Aviation stakeholders who,however, hailed the decision of the federal government attributed the refusal of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to grant equal rights to sole Nigerian carrier, Air Peace flying to Dubai via Sharjah.

It was gathered that Emirates Airlines had 21 frequencies weekly to two major airports in Nigeria; Lagos and Abuja.

However, with the withdrawal, which takes effect from December 12, 2021, Emirates Airlines can now fly into Abuja (Nigeria) just once weekly on Thursdays, while its Lagos flight is suspended.

Confirming the frequency reduction, the director-general, NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, said that it withdrew the approval following the refusal of GCAA to grant equal rights to the sole Nigerian carrier, Air Peace flying to Dubai via Sharjah.


 
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Nuhu explained that the minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika had granted Emirates Airlines frequencies to two major airports in Nigeria; Lagos, 14 and Abuja, seven.

He regretted that despite this approval, the GCAA refused to grant Air Peace three weekly frequencies to Sharjah, which the airline requested for, rather approved just one frequency weekly.

According to him, the GCAA had attributed its refusal to grant the three frequencies to the airline to inadequate slots in Sharjah airport, stressing that the government would continue to protect Nigeria’s businesses.

He said, “The Nigerian Government was gracious to grant Emirates Airlines 21 frequencies it requested for. The airline wants to operate 14 weekly flights to Lagos and another seven weekly to Abuja airports.

“However, Air Peace only requested for three weekly flights to Sharjah, not even Dubai airport, but the CAA refused the airline. The CAA only approved one weekly frequency to the airline. The only excused they gave was that they don’t have enough slots. Where is the justice in this? That is capital flight out of Nigeria. Nigeria should protect its own,” he said.

LEADERSHIP reports that NCAA had in a letter with the reference number: NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/329, dated December 9, 2021 with the head: ‘Withdrawal of Ministerial Approval of Emirates Airlines Winter Schedule,’ and signed by Nuhu to the Country Manager, Emirates Airlines withdrew the initial approval granted the airline.

The letter read: “I write to inform you of the withdrawal of the approval granted to Emirates Airlines winter schedule. This approval was conveyed via a letter with reference number FMA/ATMO/501/C.104/XV/356 dated 1st December 2021. The withdrawal becomes effective on Sunday 12th December 2021 at 23002.

“Please kindly note, henceforth Emirates Airlines is granted approval to operate only one weekly passenger frequency to Abuja on Thursdays.”

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