FG lifts ban on Emirates as UAE suspends rapid tests

Federal Government has lifted the ban it earlier placed on Emirates Airlines.

This is coming after the United Arab Emirates granted the carrier permission to withdraw the Rapid Antigen Testing done prior to the departure of Emirates flights from Nigeria, according to a letter by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

Due to the development, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 directed the immediate lifting of the suspension placed on the operations of Emirates Airlines in Nigeria.

The letter signed by the Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu expected the airline to comply with the directives by the PTF on COVID-19 and other protocols of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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“Emirates Airlines will be duly informed of ongoing enforcement actions by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority with regards to the established non-compliances to PTF directives and protocols as enumerated in our letter of February 4, 2021,” the letter read.

Similarly, the airline expressed its desire to continue flying to Nigeria as it thanked the authorities for their support.

It read, “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.”

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The foreign carrier was earlier on a ban for airlifting passengers from Nigeria using Rapid Antigen Tests conducted by laboratories that are neither approved nor authorised by the appropriate regulatory bodies.

It also failed to comply with the two options given by the PTF, according to records obtained by the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency

Similarly, it is accused of advertising two centres not approved for coronavirus rapid testing, identified as Travel Clinic and Medicaid Mobile Laboratory.

(Punch)

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