The Federal government of Nigeria has announced the inclusion of Emirates Airlines among the airlines banned from operating into the country.
The new ban will take immediate effect from Monday the 21st September 2020 as part of the principle of reciprocity that the government put in place to protect its sovereignty.
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika announced this through his official Twitter handle, as he said the decision was reached after a weekend meeting with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had with European Union Ambassadors who sought to review their status.
” The PTF subcommittee met today,(Friday night) with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban. The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed & they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st Sept. 2020.”
On September 3, 2020, the Minister had listed thirteen (13) airlines approved to fly into the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, which Emirates Airlines was among the approved airlines.
However, the European Union (EU) is asking the Nigerian government to reverse the restrictions placed on KLM, Lufthansa, and Air France.
Three Ambassadors were led by the EU Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Ketil Karlsen to resolve the issues which lead to the ban.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama led Nigeria delegation to the meeting. Others who were present at the meeting include; Minister of Health, Dr. Osage Ehanire, Minister of State, Health, Dr. Olorunmibe Mamora, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and National Coordinator, PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu.