The Federal Government has suspended Emirates Airlines from operating in the country over violation of COVID-19 protocols.
The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) made this known in a letter dated February 4, 2020, and signed by its Director-General, Captain Musa Nuhu.
According to the letter which was addressed to the Country Manager of the Airlines in Nigeria, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 suspended the airlines for continuous airlift of passengers from Nigeria using Rapid Antigen Test (RDT) conducted by laboratories that are neither approved nor authorized by the appropriate regulatory bodies.
The NCAA, however, said it will inform Emirates airlines in due time as to when to resume flight operations to Nigeria.
The letter reads: ”It has been brought to the attention of the Presidential Task Force of COVID-19 (PTF) that Emirates airlines has continued to airlift passengers from Nigeria using Rapid Antigen Test (RDT) conducted by laboratories that are neither approved nor authorized by the appropriate regulatory bodies.
“This is a violation of paragraph 5 of the NCAA letter with Re; NCAA/DG/AIR11/16/281 of 02 February, 2021, addressed to your good self. The Paragraph clearly states:
“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 the logistics are put in place or suspends its flights to and from Nigeria until such a time when the required infrastructure and logistics are fully established and implemented.
“Emirates has not been in compliance with the two options given by the PTF as record obtained from the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) indicates that Emirates airline operated flights from Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
“This is in addition to an advert by Emirates Airlines for RDT by The Travel Clinic and Medicaid Mobile Laboratory in Lagos and Abuja, two organisations that are not approved by the appropriate regulatory bodies and PTF to conduct RDT for departing passengers.”
“The PTF takes the violations of the instructions seriously and has directed that Emirates airlines should suspend its operations to Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) effective 72 hours from midnight (23.00z) on Thursday, February 4, 2021.
“During the 72 hour leeway, Emirates airlines is only authorized to bring passengers into Nigeria, outbound passengers are not authorized.
“Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority will impose additional sanctions on Emirates for the violations of the PTF directive and COVID-19 protocols.
“Emirates airlines will be informed in due time as to when to resume operations to Nigeria.”
Source: Naija News