The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA),says it has not received official communication from the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the lifting of flight restriction placed on Nigeria and 11 other African countries.
It said that once an official letter is received from the UAE, the Ministry of Aviation and the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Covid-19 pandemic would act accordingly
Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General of NCAA told journalists that the Country Manager of Emirates Airlines visited his office on Thursday to convey the lifting of the flight services restriction on Nigeria and 11 others.
According to him,his agency could not act on it until the UAE Civil Aviation Authority write officially to the Nigerian Government through the diplomatic channels known to the two parties, maintaining that flight operations between the two countries was based on Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA) arrangement.
He added: “The Country Manager of Emirates Airlines came to my office yesterday (Thursday) and he submitted a letter of release by the Dubai Airport lifting the ban on Nigeria and 11 other African countries. Of course, we still have some protocols that have to be complied with. I think it is acceptable.
“But, what I told him is that the issue of flight operations between Nigeria and UAE is based on BASA. Nigeria as a government, we don’t deal with an airline, we deal with the authorities of UAE. So, what I told him is that the Civil Aviation Authority of UAE should write to us officially through the diplomatic channels. When we have that it means the Nigerian Government is in official communication from UAE. As soon as that letter comes in, I am sure it is going to come may be today (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday), we will act on it.
“Unofficially, we are not aware because I need the UAE CAA to officially inform me through government to government channel. So, when we get that it becomes official.”
Besides, Nuhu said that the regulatory body had rescinded its decision to restrict operations of Emirates Airlines to one frequency weekly and to Abuja Airport only, stressing that the government took the decisive decision then when the UAE CAA could not grant Air Peace the three frequencies it requested for to fly into Sharjah Airport, while the government granted it 21 weekly frequencies.
UAE had Thursday announced plans to lift its entry and transit ban on travellers who had recently visited Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and eight other African countries.
The lifting of the ban was disclosed by the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA). The ban was initially imposed in light of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
“From January 29, entry into the UAE for arrivals from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, the Republic of South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe is allowed again,” NCEMA said on Twitter.
The initial ban covered travellers who had visited certain African countries in the previous 14 days. The changes will come into effect at 2:30pm on Saturday, January 29.
1022700cookie-checkOmicron:UAE’s Travel Restriction On Nigeria Still In Force -NCAA