Why flights to Dubai are suspended – Sirika

The Federal Government on Monday revealed that Nigeria suspended flights to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because of the discriminatory protocol the Gulf country introduced.

Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika disclosed this during the briefing by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19.

The minister said the protocol appeared to be targeted at only Nigerians, adding that it was not backed up by scientific reasons.

Sirika also said Dubai was insistent that all passengers intending to visit the country must use Emirates airline or spend two weeks in the alternative carrier’s country before entering Dubai.

Giving an update of the matter, he said: “Emirates in particular and other airlines, including KLM, gave us some conditions that were not acceptable to us because they don’t make scientific sense.

“Emirates, at that time, wanted us to do the test 48 hours before boarding and 48 hours is not yet the incubation time. And they expect us to do a rapid test at the airport and then fly seven hours later and still do another test in Dubai and then follow us to our hotel or our accommodation and do another test.

“In this case, Emirates insisted again that in addition to the test on arrival and other tests, that Nigerians cannot fly to UAE except through Emirates airlines and that if we choose to do so through other airlines, like Ethiopia, Qatar, Turkish or other airlines, we must remain in the country of that airline for two weeks, if we are a Nigerian, before we continue to Dubai.”

“So, they insisted that we must fly by Emirates, and majority of Nigerians are petty traders and the ticket of Emirates in this case may be higher than other airlines’.”



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