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FG suspends Emirates flights from Nigeria

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The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu, who announced this in a circular dated February 4, said the airline was suspended for violating the COVID-19 protocols put in place by the Federal Government.

According to him, the airline has been airlifting passengers from Nigeria using rapid antigen tests conducted by laboratories not approved by regulatory authorities in the country.

Nuhu added that the airline’s suspension took effect from Thursday.

He said: “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) indicated that Emirates Airlines operated the flights from both Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

“Emirates should suspend its operations to Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) effective 72 hours from midnight on Thursday, February 4, 2021.

“During the 72-hour leeway, Emirates Airlines is only authorised to bring passengers into Nigeria. Outbound passengers are not authorised.”

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The NCAA chief said additional sanctions would be imposed on Emirates Airlines for the violations of COVID-19 protocols, adding that the airline would be informed on when to resume operations.

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