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UAE: We Cannot Force Emirates, FG Reacts to Flight Suspension

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The Federal Ministry of Aviation has reacted to the recent Emirates flight suspension. Recall that, Emirates announced that on June 23, 2021, they will resume flight from Nigeria to Dubai. The same Emirates on Monday, June 21, 2021, announced that they will suspend the proposed flight resumption until further notice.


Emirates airline cited government directive and relevant as the reason for the flight suspension.

In response to the flight suspension, the Director, Public Affairs, FMA, James Odaudu, described the situation as a private affair. He said, Emirates is a private business and can decide whatever they want that is of economic importance.

Emirates can decide to start flying to Nigeria and they can also decide to stop. Nigeria did not ban Emirates, Nigeria only rejected their conditions because the infrastructure for the rapid test was not available.

He said, “Emirates Airlines is a private business. Whatever decision they take is an economic decision. First and foremost, Nigeria did not ban Emirates. Nigeria only rejected their conditions for Nigerians to fly to the UAE.

“So if on their own they’ve decided to start flying into Nigeria, fine. And if on their own they say they are not ready to resume flights yet, the Nigerian government cannot force them to start operations or cease operations.

“Except if what they do goes against the Nigerian government policies and regulations.”

Odaudu added, “I will say it again, Emirates is a private business and they are at liberty to take any economic decision that does not go against our policies.

“Also, it is important to state that the UAE has not banned Nigerians from entering that country, although Emirates belongs to them.”

Emirates statement on the flight suspension reads:
In line with government directives, passenger flights to and from Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) are suspended with effect from 21 June 2021 until further notice.

Customers travelling to and from Lagos and Abuja will not be accepted for travel. Customers who have been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days are not permitted to board from any other point to the UAE

We regret the inconvenience caused, and affected customers should contact their booking agent or Emirates call centre for rebooking. Emirates remains committed to Nigeria, and we look forward to resuming passenger services when conditions allow.

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