Nigeria has lifted its suspension of Emirates airlines flights imposed after the carrier sought additional COVID-19 tests for passengers from Nigeria, a spokesman for the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA said on Friday.
This is coming as the airline suspends Rapid Antigen Test (RDT) requirements for passengers. The authority, had, with effect from 4th February, suspended the airline from operating in Nigeria.
NCAA Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu in a statement said: “The Public is hereby notified of the immediate lifting of the suspension placed on Emirates airlines operations in Nigeria.
“The implementation of the additional requirement by the Two (2) airlines was commenced without the prior notification or approval of the PTF and other regulatory bodies in Nigeria.
This led to the provision of RDT by organizations and laboratories that have not been approved by the PTF and other Regulatory agencies for RDT at or around our international airports in Lagos and Abuja.
“The PTF upon review of the situation directed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to inform the airlines to either suspend the requirement for pre-departure RDT or their flights to the country until such a time when the required infrastructure and logistics have been put in place for RDT by the Government.
Emirates Airlines informed the NCAA in writing on 5th February 2021 that the UAE Government has given the airline consent to suspend the pre-departure RDT requirement for passengers travelling on their flight to Dubai.
It was on this basis that the PTF directed the NCAA to lift the suspension placed on Emirates Airlines flights into Nigeria effective from 5th February 2021.
“The Public is hereby informed as follows: Emirates Airlines no longer requires passengers to carry out pre-departure RDT. No laboratory has been approved by the PTF and other regulatory agencies to carry out RDT for incoming or departing passengers. The PTF will inform all Nigerians of any change(s) to the above,” Captain Nuhu said.
According to industry sources, the UAE authorities said the airline’s passengers flying to Dubai from Nigeria would not be permitted entry if they transited via a third country and could only enter on direct flights.