Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Suspends Emirates Airlines Operations to Nigeria


Friday, February 05, 2021 05:50PM / by NCAA/ Header Image Credit: Vanguard News

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1.      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 (RDT) conducted by laboratories that are neither approved nor authorized by the appropriate regulatory bodies.

2. This is a violation of paragraph 5 of 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".

3. 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 following flights from both Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

a. Date: 03 February 2021

Flight: VAE784

Aircraft Type: B777-300

Registration Mark: AGEQA

Route: Lagos - Dubai

Passengers on board: 195


b. Date: 03 February 2021

Flight: UAE786

Aircraft Type: B777W

Registration Mark: AGEQD

Route: Abuja - Dubai

Passengers on board: 154


c. Date: 04 February 2021

Flight: UAE 784

Aircraft type: B777-300

Registration Mark: AGEQC

Route: Lagos - Dubai

Passengers on board: 199


d. Date: 04 February 2021

Flight: VAE786

Aircraft Type: B777W

Registration Mark: AGECV

Route: Abuja - Dubai

Passengers on board: 175

This in addition to an advert by Emirates Airlines (attached) for RDT by The Travel Clinic and Medicaid Mobile Laboratory in Lagos and Abuja respectfully, two organization that are not approved by the appropriate regulatory bodies and PTF to conduct RDT for departing passengers.


4. PTF takes these violations of its instructions seriously and has directed as follows.


a. Emirates Airlines should suspend its operations to Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) effective 72 hours from midnight (2300Z) on Thursday 04 February 2021.


b. During the 72-hour leeway Emirates Airlines is only authorized to bring passengers into Nigeria. Outbound passengers are not authorized.


c. Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority will impose additional sanctions on Emirates Airlines for the violations of the PTF directive and COVID-19 Protocols.


d. Emirates Airlines will be informed in due time as when to resume operations to Nigeria.


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