Keyamo: Emirates Airline to resume flights in Nigeria “shortly” 

Keyamo: Emirates Airline to resume flights in Nigeria “shortly” 

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has announced that Emirates Airline is set to resume flights to Nigeria “shortly” stating that the official start date will be disclosed within the next few days.

Keyamo shared this update on his official X (formerly Twitter) account on Wednesday, following his meeting with the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, on Tuesday.

According to the Minister, during this meeting, Ambassador Al-Shamsi handed over a letter from Emirates Airline confirming their imminent flight resumption to Nigeria and the forthcoming announcement of the commencement date.

“Yesterday, I paid a working visit to the Ambassador of the UAE to Nigeria, His Excellency Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, at the UAE Embassy in Abuja. He handed me a correspondence from Emirates Airline indicating a definite date for their resumption of flights to Nigeria. That date will be formally announced by Emirates Airline in a matter of days,” Keyamo’s tweet read.

Nairametrics reported that Keyamo confirmed in a TV interview that Emirates Airlines is expected to resume flights to Nigeria by June 2024.

This follows a deal between President Bola Tinubu and the UAE President during President Tinubu’s October 2023 diplomatic visit to the UAE, which aimed to lift the visa ban on Nigerians and restore flight services between the two nations.

What you should know 

In 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s delay in responding to foreign airlines’ requests to repatriate funds led to several airlines halting flights to Nigeria and stopping the offer of low-priced tickets on Nigerian routes.  

  • Emirates Airline suspended its operations in Nigeria in October 2022 after the Central Bank failed to allocate foreign exchange as promised. A year later, during President Bola Tinubu’s diplomatic visit to the UAE in October 2023, a deal was struck with the UAE President to lift the visa ban on Nigerians and resume flights.  
  • However, Temitope Ajayi, Senior Special Assistant to President Tinubu on Media and Publicity, noted that while the agreement was made, the details still required finalization for ratification and implementation, indicating that flights would not resume immediately. 
  • In response to several foreign airlines ceasing to offer low-priced tickets on Nigerian routes, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) formed a committee in February to address high international airfare costs.  
  • Tasked with analyzing factors influencing airfare prices and identifying solutions to reduce them, the committee’s efforts led to a significant development.
  • By March, following the committee’s recommendations and subsequent negotiations, the NCAA announced that most international airlines had agreed to lower their ticket prices for Nigerian travelers. 

 

Source link: Nairametrics

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