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Emirates Airline resumes flight operations to Nigeria

Emirates airline says it will resume passenger operations between Dubai and Nigeria from December 5, 2021, mandating COVID-19 PCR tests for all inbound travellers.

With this, passengers from Nigeria will take the COVID-19 PCR test within three days before departure and another test on arrival at the UAE.

Emirates, the flag carrier of the UAE, said this in a statement made available to TheCable on Thursday. 

“The world’s largest international airline will operate to and from its Nigerian gateways with daily flights, providing travellers from Nigeria convenient access to Dubai, which remains a highly popular holiday and business destination,” the statement reads.

“It’ll also enable travellers to safely connect via Dubai to the Emirates network of over 120 global destinations.”

The statement added that Emirates will fly to Abuja with EK 785 and 786, leaving Dubai at 1100hrs, arriving in Abuja at 1540hrs. The return flight, EK 786 will take off from Abuja at 1900, arriving in Dubai at 0435hrs the next day.

The airline said travellers coming from Nigeria must hold a negative COVID-19 PCR certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure.

It added that passengers departing Nigeria must obtain the certificates from one of the designated centres provided by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

“Travellers coming from Nigeria will also need to take another Covid-19 PCR test on arrival at Dubai International Airport,” the statement adds.

“Ensuring the safety of travellers, visitors, and the community, Covid-19 PCR tests are mandatory for all inbound passengers arriving to Dubai, including UAE citizens, residents and tourists, irrespective of the country they are coming from.”

Last Friday, the federal government lifted restrictions on Emirates flights almost ten months after the diplomatic discussions around COVID-19 travel requirements for Nigerian passengers.

Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, said the airline had removed some of its travelling conditions for Nigerian passengers.

In February, the airline had instructed Nigerian travellers at the Lagos and Abuja airports to take another PCR test on arrival at Dubai — the directive led to a ban on Emirates flights in Nigeria.

The decision was later reversed when the airline agreed to stop the rapid antigen tests.

In a twist in March, the federal government reintroduced the ban, explaining that Emirates had continued to conduct tests for passengers before departure and at arrival in Dubai.

Source: Adeyemi Ojekunle

Emirates Airline resumes flight operations to Nigeria

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