Emirates Airline on Sunday resumed its scheduled non-stop international flights between Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and two Nigerian cities of Abuja and Lagos after nine months of suspension of its operation by the Nigerian government.
A wide-bodied aircraft ETA flew into the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at exactly 15:40hrs (3:30pm local time) as was earlier revealed by the management of the airline in Nigeria which said Emirates will fly into Abuja with EK 785 and 786, leaving Dubai at 1100hrs, arriving in Abuja at 1540hrs.
A staff who spoke on condition of anonymity said the large number of passengers who boarded the Abuja-Dubai flight were very impressive, pointing out that “the number of passengers we recorded on Sunday surpassed our projected threshold, we did not expect the large number of passengers we recorded on the first day of our resumption of flights operation in Nigeria”.
Nigeria-UAE diplomatic relations took a hit early this year after Covid-19 pandemic-related testing procedures resulted in UAE taking a tough Covid-19 Testing Measures against Nigerian passengers of Emirates Airline.
Consequently, the Nigerian authorities in turn slammed a ban on Emirates Airline, ridding its planes from the country’s skies.
However, the Federal Government last week through the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika lifted restrictions on Emirates Airlne flights almost ten months after the diplomatic discussions around COVID-19 travel requirements for Nigerian passengers were resolved by both countries.
Meanwhile, the management of the airline in conjunction with the Nigerian authorities have mandated strict COVID-19 PCR tests for all inbound passengers just as passengers from Nigeria will take the COVID-19 PCR test within three days before departure and another test on arrival in UAE.