The federal government has put inbound and outbound flights of Emirates Airlines on hold for the third time in 2021.
Emirates made this known in a statement issued on Monday, June 21, saying it remains committed to Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the airline urged affected passengers to keep their tickets for future flights. It said: “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 center for rebooking. Emirates remains committed to Nigeria, and we look forward to resuming passenger services when conditions allow.”
This came less than two days after the Dubai Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management eased travel restrictions to Nigerian passengers under a new COVID-19 health and safety protocol.
The Nigerian government and the United Arab Emirates had been engaging in diplomatic discussions over issues relating to COVID-19 protocol.
Recall that in February, Emirates directed Nigerian travellers at the Lagos and Abuja airports to conduct rapid COVID-19 tests before departure, which led to a ban on Emirates flights in Nigeria.
This medium gathered that the ban was later lifted after the airline agreed to stop the rapid antigen tests.
The federal government reintroduced the ban on March 15, explaining that Emirates had continued to conduct rapid antigen tests for passengers before departure from Nigeria.