The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has suspended flights of Emirates Airlines to and from Nigeria.
This directive was given by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 as contained in a circular issued on February 4, stating that the suspension followed a violation of guidelines given by the task force.
The airline was accused of airlifting passengers from Nigeria who used rapid antigen tests done at laboratories not approved by regulatory bodies.
The circular read, “It has been brought to the attention of the Presidential Taskforce of COVID-19 (PTF) that Emirates Airlines has continued to airlift passengers from Nigeria using Rapid Antigen Tests 9RDT) conducted by laboratories that are neither approved nor authorized by the appropriate regulatory bodies.
“This is a violation of paragraph 5 of the NCAA letter with Re: NCAA/DG/AIR11/16/281 of 02 February, 2021 addressed to your good self. The paragraph clearly states:
“Based on the foregoing and to enable the Nigerian government to put in place the needed infrastructure and logistics for COVID-19 RDT testing for departing passengers, the PTF has directed that Emirates Airlines should either accept passengers without RDT pending when the infrastructure and logistics are put in place or suspend its flights to and from Nigeria until such a time when the required infrastructure and logistics are fully established and implemented.
“Emirates Airlines has not been in compliance with the two options given by the PTF as records obtained from Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) indicates that Emirates Airlines operated the flights from both Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.”
The flights listed include: “Date: 03 February, 2021; Flight UAE784; Aircraft Type: B777-300; Registration Mark: A6EQA; Route: Lagos-Dubai; Passengers on board: 195.
“Date; 03 February, 2021; Flight: UAE786; Aircraft Type: B777W; Route: Abuja-Dubai; Passengers on board: 154.”