The federal government has announced the inclusion of Emirates Airlines among the list of international carriers banned from scheduled commercial operation to Nigeria, in line with its policy of reciprocity over the rejection of Nigerians by some countries, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, explained Friday that the airline was included in the list of airlines not allowed to operate in Nigeria as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Sirika made this known via his Twitter handle and said the decision was taken after a meeting between members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and European Union Ambassadors.
He said the ban would take effect from Monday, September 21, 2020.
“The PTF sub-committee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban. The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’ situation was reviewed and they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st September 2020,” he tweeted.
The EU Ambassadors decided to meet with the federal government over European carriers, which Nigeria barred from operating into the country in accordance to its policy on COVID-19 protocols and diplomatic principles.
Nigerian government before the reopening of international flight on September 5, 2020 made it clear that it would reciprocate the gesture of countries that barred Nigerians from their shores and has maintained the policy so far.
Emirates source told THISDAY that the reason the federal government took that decision was because the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had not yet started issuing visas to Nigerians, but that would be resolved before the Monday date when the ban would take effect.