By Chinelo Obogo

 

United Arabs Emirates (UAE) has extended its ban on Nigerian flights to March 20, 2021, Daily Sun can confirm.

A spokesperson for Emirates Airline said in a statement that passengers from Abuja and Lagos will not be accepted for travel prior to or including this date but that flights from Dubai to both states will continue to operate as per the normal schedule.

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“In line with government directives, passenger services from Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) to Dubai are temporarily suspended until March 20  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).

“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 airline said.

On February 14, Dubai Airport Authority announced the extension of the suspension of flights from Nigeria till March 10, 2020.  In another statement on February 28, the Authority said the UAE will only review the ban by March 10 but as at the time of filling this report, the ban date was reviewed upward.

Last month, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), announced the suspension of Emirates operations from Lagos and Abuja over the airline’s violation of COVID-19 protocols. It accused the airline of airlifting passengers from Nigeria using Rapid Antigen Test (RDT) conducted by laboratories that are neither approved nor authorised by the appropriate regulatory bodies in Nigeria.