Emirates suspends outbound passenger services from Lagos, Abuja
Emirates Airline has suspended passenger services from Lagos and Abuja until February 28, 2021. The airline, which disagreed with the Nigerian authority over extra COVID-19 protocols, however, said the suspension would affect only outbound passengers from Nigeria.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) recently reversed the suspension of Emirates flights into Nigeria, following the UAE’s cancellation of the antigen rapid tests earlier imposed on Nigerians departing on Emirates Airlines.
But since the reversal at the weekend, Emirates has been flying passengers into Lagos and Abuja, and refrained from carrying outbound passengers from Nigeria.
A memo issued by the airline yesterday stated: “In line with UAE government’s directives, passenger services from Lagos and Abuja to Dubai are temporarily suspended until 28 February 2021.
“Itinerants from Abuja and Lagos will not be accepted for travels prior to or including this date. Passengers, who have been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days, are not allowed entry into the UAE, whether terminating in or connecting through Dubai.
“Emirates flights from Dubai to Lagos and Abuja will continue as per the normal schedule. 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 to Dubai for our customers when conditions allow.”
The Guardian had earlier reported that some international carriers had begun enforcement of fresh safety protocols much to the discomfort of Nigerian travellers. Emirates, especially, was conducting mandatory antigen tests on Nigerian passengers, in addition to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test approved by the Federal Government and the global standard.
The test costs additional N25, 800 per traveller at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja and N36, 800 at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, until the Federal Government banned the airline to enforce reversal of the antigen test.