Emirates has elongated its suspension of flights from Nigeria to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) till 10 March.
This was disclosed in a statement published on the airline’s website on Monday.
Emirates had last week Wednesday announced that flights from both Abuja and Lagos airports would not be into Dubai for two weeks, ending 28 February.
The airline stated that the deadline has now been extended to 10 March n line with directives from the UAE government.
It, however, stated that flights from Dubai to Lagos and Abuja respectively will continue as scheduled.
The statement read: “In line with government directives, passenger services from Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) to Dubai are temporarily suspended until 10 March 2021.
“Customers from both Abuja and Lagos will not be accepted for travel 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 to operate 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 suspension of Emirates flights might not be unconnected to the controversy of Rapid Antigen tests as the preferred method of COVID-19 testing by the UAE authorities.
The Federal Government through the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had on 4 February announced a 72-hour suspension on Emirates after the airline conveyed passengers out of Nigeria using the rapid antigen tests conducted by laboratories not approved by regulatory authorities in the country.
The move, the NCAA said, was a violation of the guidelines put in place by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 regarding testing.
The suspension was then rescinded by the Federal Government the following day after it got assurances that the UAE has granted the carrier permission to withdraw the rapid antigen testing done conducted on passengers the departure of Emirates flights from Nigeria.