The Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 (PTF), Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Monday, March 22, 2021, had a meeting over flight suspension between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.
During the meeting, Nigeria Federal Government writes to the United Arab Emirates to withdraw and accept to fly passengers to and fro with only a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test certificate within 72 hours and at worse a repeat test on arrival but not a combination of the three tests demanded as such would make travelling difficult.
Recall that Emirates airline insisted that passengers must present a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test certificate done within 72 hours before flight departure, a four hours antigens rapid test at the airport and another polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on arrival at the United Arab Emirates.
Nigeria Aviation minister, Hadi Sirika rejected the demands made by Emirates. Hadi said the demands are devoid of any scientific reasons. Also, it will make travel difficult.
Emirates is fully committed to making progress on a resolution to ensure the continuation and expansion of operations. Emirates is working closely with all relevant authorities and regulators to ensure that the issues concerning flights suspension are resolved.
Sen. Hadi Sirika said during the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 (PTF) meeting that they are waiting for an official response from the United Arab authorities. “We believe the issues will be resolved as soon as possible,” he said.
Before Emirates moved the March 20, 2021 flight resumption till further notice, a check on their website showed that flights supposed to resume on March 21, 2021. The Nigeria and United Arab Emirates authorities will meet again on March 29, 2021, to decide on the way forward.