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Emirates Suspension: PTF makes U-Turn, lift suspension, as airline pledges to comply

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The Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 has made a U-turn in the suspension of the operations of Emirates flights into Nigeria.

The PTF through the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, about 24 hours ago suspended the airlines for violating the PTF covid-19 directives regarding Rapid Antigen Testing, RDT for departing passengers.

The NCAA has again sent a letter to the Emirates airlines Country Manager that it has reversed its earlier decision with the action taken by the UAE government to stop its airlines from carrying the test.

“We have carefully read the response to our letter NCAA/DG/AIR11/16/285 of 4th February 2021 and arrived at the understanding that the UAE government has granted approval to Emirates airlines to withdraw the requirements for Rapid Antigen Testing, RDT, prior to departure of Emirates flights from Nigeria with immediate effect until such a time that the required infrastructure is made available by the Nigerian government”.

The lifting of the suspension is the immediate response of the UAE government granting approval to Emirates airlines to withdraw the requirements for Rapid Antigen Testing, RDT, prior to departure of Emirates flights from Nigeria with immediate effects until the required infrastructure and logistics are put in place by the Federal Government.

The Director General, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu says it hopes that the airline will continue to comply with the directives of the PTF on Covid-19 and other Protocols of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

According to him, the the Airline will be informed of ongoing enforcement actions by the NCAA with regards to the establishment non-compliance to PTF directives and Protocols as enumerated in the letter sent to the airline on the 4th February 2021.

  1. Emirates Airlines no longer requires passengers to carry out pre-departure RDT.
  2. No laboratory has been approved by the PTF and other regulatory agencies to carry out RDT for incoming or departing passengers.
  3. The PTF will inform all Nigerians of any change(s).

In response to the ongoing development, the airline spokesman in a statement says;
“Emirates can confirm that we will continue to operate services to Abuja and Lagos. We are strongly committed to Nigeria, and would like to thank the local authorities for their trust and support. We look forward to
continuing to safely connect our customers, and meet air travel demand from Nigeria to and through Dubai to Emirates’ global network.”