Emirates Airlines has suspended all flights to Nigeria in retaliation to the federal government.
The Nigerian government previously reduced the number of flights approved for the Middle Eastern airline to one due to an ongoing diplomatic dispute.
In a statement released by the airline on Friday evening, it said: “Due to a recent directive restricting Emirates’ weekly flight to Nigeria via Abuja, Emirates will suspend its flights between Nigeria and Dubai from 13 December 2021 to the UAE and Nigeria. Authorities are looking for solution to the ongoing problem.”
The last flights on 12/12/2021 are EK 783/78
from Lagos/Lago and EK 785/786 from Abuja/Abuja.
“Customers ticketed to final destinations in Lagos and Abuja will not be accommodated at the point of departure.
– Affected customers do not need to call us immediately to rebook. Customers can simply hold on to their Emirates ticket and contact their travel agent or travel agent to make new travel plans when flights resume.
“Emirates apologizes for any inconvenience caused. Emirates is compromising its operations in Nigeria and we are ready to resume services once the restrictions are lifted by the Nigerian authorities. This will ensure that passengers have more choice and access to shopping and tourism opportunities in Dubai. and beyond through our network of more than 120 destinations.”
The Federal Government on Thursday revoked approval of Emirates Airlines’ winter flight schedule, reducing the airline’s daily flights to Abuja to just once a week.
He disclosed this in a letter dated December 9, 2021, sent to the Head of State of Emirates Airlines Nigeria in Victoria Island, Lagos and signed by the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nigeria, Captain Musa Nuhu. The letter, with reference number NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/329 and titled “Withdrawal of Ministerial Approval of Emirates Airlines Winter Plan”, advised the airline to comply with the new directive.
It read in part: “I wish to inform you of the withdrawal of approval of the winter flight schedule of Emirates Airlines. This approval was communicated by letter dated 1 December 2021 under reference FMA/ATMD/501/C.10
“This cancellation will take effect from 23:00 on Sunday 12/12/2021. Please note that Emirates Airlines only allows flights to Abuja once a week on Thursdays. “Please act accordingly. Accept the assurances of my highest respect.”
The federal government has lifted Emirates Airlines’ ban on flights to Nigeria for about a week, after the airline suspended operations in Nigeria several months earlier due to concerns over the UAE airline’s requirements to manage COVID-19.