NIGERIA’S federal government has barred Emirates Airlines from operating in the country as from Monday September 21 as part of its imposition of reciprocal restrictions on airlines who country do not allow Nigerian flights into their airspace.
When Nigeria lifted the embargo in international flights on September 5, only nine airlines will be allowed to fly into the country including Middle East Airlines, British Airways, Delta, Qatar, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Air Peace, Virgin Atlantic, Asky Airlines, Africa World Airways, Air Cote-d’ Ivoire, Kenya Airways, Egypt Air and Turkish Airlines. Others including Air France, KLM, Etihad, RwandAir, Air Namibia, Royal Air Maroc, Lufthansa and TAAG Angola Airlines were denied approval to commence flight operations because they do not allow flights in from Nigeria.
Cabo Verde and South African Airlines were also denied approval as international flights were yet to resume in their countries. However, Emirates Airlines has now been added to the list of those barred.
Aviation minister Senator Hadi Sirika, said: “The presidential task force sub-committee met today with European Union ambassadors to discuss the Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban. The meeting progressed well and the Emirates Airlines’ situation was reviewed and they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday, September 21, 2020.”
Last month, Nigeria’s federal government vowed to enforce the principle of reciprocity in granting permission to airlines to resume operations. Emirates Airline is a subsidiary of the Emirates Group, which is owned by the government of Dubai through its Investment Corporation of Dubai.
It is also the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 3,600 flights a week from its hub at the Dubai International Airport, to more than 150 cities in 80 countries across six continents, using its fleet of nearly 300 aircraft. Emirates is the world’s fourth largest airline by scheduled revenue passenger kilometres flown and the second-largest in terms of freight tonne kilometres flown.