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Emirates Airlines resumes operations as Nigeria, UAE resolve differences

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The Federal Government on Friday announced that the suspension of flights by Emirates Airlines into and out of Nigeria had been officially lifted.

According to the government, the suspension was halted following the resolution of differences between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates after the UAE lifted some of the restrictions imposed on travellers from Nigeria as part of measures to contain COVID-19.

The development was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Aviation on Friday night in Abuja.

Sirika said, “We are all aware of the situation of Emirates Airlines operations in Nigeria. So today we received communication removing some of the conditions for travel which we had concerns about.

“And having done so, and being the only impediments to their operations, we also accept to lift the ban on the operations of Emirates to the country beginning from today. This is a product of lengthy negotiations between us and them.”

Read also: Nigerian govt lifts suspension on Emirates Airlines

Sirika said the ban was lifted unconditionally, adding that going forward, Nigerians could fly directly to the UAE and back into Nigeria without restrictions.

It would be recalled that in July this year, the UAE had insisted on travellers from Nigeria undergoing several other COVID-19 tests after the initial test in Nigeria.

“In line with government directives, passengers flights to and from Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) are suspended with immediate effect from June 21, 2021, until further notice,” Emirates Airlines had announced in a statement.

However, the aviation minister said on Friday that the issues had been resolved and that Emirates had officially resumed operations in Nigeria.

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