COVID-19: 10 Months After Its Suspension, UAE's National Carrier Begins Flight Operations in Nigeria

COVID-19: 10 Months After Its Suspension, UAE's National Carrier Begins Flight Operations in Nigeria

  • The 10-month diplomatic row between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates over COVID-19 testing and protocols has ended
  • UAE's national carrier, Emirates landed in Abuja and Lagos international airport amid celebrations and fanfare
  • The airline said it has positioned itself to serve its passengers with quality service while observing all COVID-19 protocols and guidelines

Barely 10 months after its suspension in Nigeria, Emirates, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates has resumed flight operation in the country.

Emirates Airline with its aircraft EK 785 from Dubai to Abuja touched down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Sunday, December 5, amid water cannon welcome.

The resumption of operation by Emirates comes a few hours after President Muhammadu Buhari arrived in Nigeria from UAE where he attended the Dubai 2020 EXPO.

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Emirates lands in Nigeria after 10 months
Emirates makes its first landing in Lagos and Abuja after 10 months of diplomatic row with Nigeria Photo: Chuks Ekere
Source: UGC reporter who was present at the airport gathered that the airline also landed one of its aircraft at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos amid celebrations and jubilation.

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There was also a cake cutting celebration which was held between Emirates crew members and officials and staff of the Nigerian airport authorities.

The event was attended in Abuja by Nigeria's airport manager, Mahmud Sani and the international terminal manager, Mrs Rasheedat Sule among many others.

Speaking at the airport, Emirates' country manager, Paulos Legesse, said the airline staff is delighted to resume operations after a 10-month long squabble between UAE and Nigeria on COVID-19 protocols.

Promising to deliver quality services to travellers shuttling Nigeria, UAE and other countries through Dubai, Legesse said they are pleased to see interest from passengers through their bookings since announcing resumptions of operations.

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He said:

"The services will also give our customers the opportunity once again to safely experience Emirates’ superior product and service, offering them convenient travel options to Dubai, an already popular destination for Nigerian travellers, as well as seamless connectivity other key cities across our network.”

According to him, the aircraft deployed to Abuja and Lagos are three-class Boeing 777-300ER which Lagesse said offers eight luxurious first-class suites, 42 business class seats, and over 300 seats in economy class. 

He also said that in-flight services including meals, ice, entertainment systems with over 4,500 channels including Nollywood films and content would be provided by the airline.

Ensuring the safety of all travellers onboard the UAE national carrier

The airline said in its effort to ensure the safety of all passengers especially with the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, PCR tests have been made mandatory for all including UAE citizens, residents and tourists.

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

Similarly, travellers coming from Nigeria will also need to take another Covid-19 PCR test on arrival at Dubai International Airport.

President Muhammadu Buhari attends Dubai 2020 EXPO

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, December 1, departed Abuja to attend the Expo 2020 in Dubai.

The Expo 2020 Dubai will host the world for 182 days is focused on creating, collaborating and sharing innovative experiences among peers and countries of great interest.

He arrived safely back to Nigeria on Sunday, December 5, through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

President Buhari advises world leaders at the Dubai 2020 Expo

While speaking at the event, the president called on other world leaders to keep working together to address the challenges of humanity and ensure that the world is a better place.

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President Buhari said that the collaborations by countries helped in the fight against the deadly coronavirus across the world.

He described the Expo 2020 Dubai as the single most important global event of its kind to take place in recent times.

Lawmakers intervene in a diplomatic row between UAE and Nigeria

Recall that the lawmakers of the Nigerian Senate had intervened in the diplomatic row between the UAE and Nigeria over COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols which led to the suspension of the airline's operation.

Speaking on the matter, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe called on his colleagues in the Senate to review the rift between Nigeria and the UAE.

Abaribe said the continued action of UAE by banning its national carrier into Nigerian contravenes the letters of bilateral agreements to which both nations are signatory.


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