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FG retaliates, suspends Emirates from Lagos as Dubai GCAA refuses Air Peace frequencies to Dubai

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The Federal Government has suspended Emirates flights to Lagos and reduced once a week to Abuja for the refusal of the General Civil Aviation Authority in Dubai for denying Airpeace from operating into Dubai through Sharjah airport.

To this end, the Minister of Aviation has withdraw the ministerial approval granted Emirates Airlines by the Ministry of Aviation.

Giving clarification on the withdrawal, the Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu says, the withdrawal, which takes effect from December 12, 2021, Emirates Airlines can now fly into Abuja (Nigeria) just once weekly on Thursdays, while its Lagos flight is suspended.

He stated that Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation had graciously granted Emirates Airlines 21 frequencies weekly to two major airports in Nigeria; Lagos, 14 and Abuja, seven.

Capt. Nuhu explained that, with this approval, the  Dubai GCAA refused to grant Air Peace three weekly frequencies to Sharjah, which the airline requested for, rather approved just one frequency weekly.

“The Nigerian Government was gracious to grant Emirates Airlines 21 frequencies it requested for. The airline wants to operate 14 weekly flights to Lagos and another seven weekly to Abuja airports”.

Capt. Nuhu explained that, the reason given by the GCAA for their refusal to grant the three frequencies to the airline was the inadequate slots in Sharjah airport, stressing that the government would continue to protect Nigeria’s businesses.

“However, Air Peace only requested for three weekly flights to Sharjah, not even Dubai airport, but the CAA refused the airline. The CAA only approved one weekly frequency to the airline. The only excused they gave was that they don’t have enough slots. Where is the justice in this? That is capital flight out of Nigeria. Nigeria should protect its own.”

NCAA had in a letter with the reference number: NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/329, dated December 9, 2021 with the head: ‘Withdrawal of Ministerial Approval of Emirates Airlines Winter Schedule,’ and signed by Nuhu to the Country Manager, Emirates Airlines withdrew the initial approval granted the airline.

The letter read: “I write to inform you of the withdrawal of the approval granted to Emirates Airlines winter schedule. This approval was conveyed via a letter with reference number FMA/ATMO/501/C.104/XV/356 dated 1st December 2021. The withdrawal becomes effective on Sunday 12th December 2021 at 23002.

“Please kindly note, henceforth Emirates Airlines is granted approval to operate only one weekly passenger frequency to Abuja on Thursdays.”

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