For allegedly violating COVID-19 guidelines, the Federal Government of Nigeria has suspended outbound Emirates flights from Nigeria for 72 hours.
This is contained in a circular issued on February 4 by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), explaining that the suspension followed a violation of guidelines placed by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
The circular, signed by NCAA director-general, Musa Nuhu, alleged that the airline has been airlifting passengers from Nigeria using rapid antigen tests conducted by laboratories not approved by regulatory authorities.
It read partly, “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) indicates that Emirates Airlines operated the flights from both Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.”
The NCAA added that the airline will be informed as to when to resume operations.