- Earlier, FG suspended Emirates flights from flying to the Murtala Muhammad International Airport (MMIA), Lagos
- In reaction, the UAE minister of economy disclosed that the demand made by Nigerian airline, Air Peace is unreasonable and ban by FG unjustifiable
- Meanwhile, on Friday, December 10, Emirates, the Dubai-based carrier, announced an indefinite suspension of flights to Nigeria, while reacting to the ban by FG on Thursday, December 9
Nigeria- Following the ongoing diplomatic fireworks between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates, the Emirati Minister of Economy, Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, has said that it is unreasonable for the Arab nation to retain the slots of Nigeria-based Air Peace airline at the Sharjah International Airport.
The minister, who is also the chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority in the UAE, says the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s action to limit Emirates’ flights to once weekly was unjustifiable.
The Punch reports that Al Marri made this known in a letter penned on December 10, 2021, and addressed to the Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
Recall that Emirates Airline on Friday, December 10, announced the suspension of its flights to Nigeria, attributing its decision to the NCAA policy limiting its operation in the country to one flight per week, Premium Times also reported.
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Nigeria currently has signed BASAs with over 90 countries including the UAE. However, over the years, stakeholders have lamented that most air agreements between Nigeria and other countries have been one-sided as Nigerian airlines have been unable to reciprocate the agreements due to what they termed, “aero-politics”.
Currently, over 25 foreign airlines operate flights into Nigeria; some daily, from multiple destinations. While only one Nigerian airline operates internationally, while one or two others operate on regional routes.
According to Sirika, Nigeria signed its BASA with the UAE in December 2017 and Nigeria-based Medview Airlines had commenced direct flights from Lagos to Dubai via Abuja but the operations had hit the rocks when the airline faced a crisis.
While Emirates Airline has been plying multiple frequencies to-and-fro the Abuja and Lagos airports, no Nigerian airline operated the routes for years after Medview Airlines’ short stint until recently when Air Peace reactivated the route.
The Emirati minister’s full letter addressed to the Nigerian aviation minister reads:
AIR TRANSPORT RELATIONS
"The GCAA wishes to stress that the action being taken by the NCAA is obviously not in line with the spirit of the agreed air services arrangements between our two Nations. As we are both aware, the relations between our two brotherly countries are vintage in nature, one hallmark being the recent visit of the President of Nigeria to the UAE, which certainly mirrored the status of these positive relations.
"Finally, we suggest that Air Peace should consider flying their two other flights to any UAE airport at which there are available slots. As expected, the GCAA will support Air Peace in this activity, where required.
"Your Excellency, your kind support is anticipated so that the NCAA reviews their decision and restores the approval of the Emirates Airline Winter Schedule, as filed. In this regard, we wish to reiterate that this is a purely operational matter between Air Peace and Sharjah Airport and in any case it should have absolutely no implications for Emirates Airline."
List of 70 countries UAE approves for visa-on-arrival
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that the United Arab Emirates has approved visa-on-arrival for passport holders from at least 70 countries across the world.
Legit.ng notes that the list of the eligible countries for the visa-on-arrival policy is available on the official website of Etihad Airlines.
A statement on the airline's website stated that anyone from the listed countries does not need to apply for a visa before travelling to the UAE. Nigeria, Africa's most populous country and the continent's biggest economy, is absent on the list.
Nigerian man in the US shares reasons American embassy denies people student visas
In another report, a Nigerian man who is currently residing in the United States has made some revelations as to why most of his fellow countrymen seeking academic opportunities in the states are not granted students visa.
In series of tweets he made with his Twitter handle @MisterNigerD, he said the key to scaling through the visa application hurdle is not giving the consular at the embassy any reason to believe that you will be staying back in the US after your studies.
@MisterNigerD stated that another huge pitfall to avoid is to say that you would be getting a job when your school is on holiday in the state. This, according to him, will get your visa application denied.