Cold war: Dubai bans all Flights from Nigeria from entering their country
The cold war between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is far from over as the Dubai Airport Authority (DAA) has finally banned all flights; direct and indirect emanating from Nigeria from entering its country until February 28, 2021.

The latest policy of the UAE Government also affected all airlines transiting passengers from any of the international airports in Nigeria.

This is as Air Peace on Thursday said it was immediately suspending its recently recommenced Lagos-Dubai via Sharjah route following the stoppage of Nigerians from entering the Middle East country.

One of the foreign airlines operating into Nigeria, Egypt Air in a circular to its travel partner, ‘Dubai Covid-19 update from Nigeria,’ said that it was stopping the Lagos-Cairo-Dubai routes immediately.

The airline said it would return the Lagos-Cairo-Dubai routes in the next two weeks.

The circular reads: “Sequence to the memo we received today 11 February, 2021 from Dubai Airport Authority suspending all direct and indirect operation of air service and passenger arrivals from Nigeria to all airports in United Arab Emirates for the period of two weeks.

“Please note that passengers affected by the instructions have the right to choose from: 1. Keep their tickets on those flights for later use without any differences in prices or charges (Same Route/Same Cabin) immediately after the announcement of the expiry of the said instructions.

“Transfer the full value in the form of EMD Good for Transportation without deducting any fines for subsequent use. Refund the value of tickets after the application of the refund conditions.

“We thank you for all the trust you reposed on our carrier and promised to update you if any further development on this in the nearest future.”

This is as Air Peace on Thursday said it was suspending its recently recommenced flights to Dubai via Sharjah due to action of the authority.

Air Peace in a statement by Stanley Olisa, its spokesman said that its operations were stopped by the UAE Government as parts of its Covid-19 measures.

It however said that flights from Dubai to Nigeria were not affected by the action.

“However, flights bringing Nigerians back from UAE are not affected. To this end, Air Peace flight from UAE (Sharjah-Dubai) to Lagos is not affected. Normal flights shall resume when the restriction is lifted from February 28, 2021.

“Our esteemed customers whose flights are disrupted by this development can send a mail to us via [email protected] for a possible reschedule.”

Though, the Dubai authorities in its circular to airlines operating into its country, attributed its action to the Covis-19 scourge, but aviation sources said it was due to the disagreement the Middle East Government had with Nigeria recently on the controversial compulsory Rapid Antigen Testing (RPT) prior to departure of its flights for Nigerian passengers.

A source said that the UAE intentionally targeted Nigeria for its policy, which they deemed was affecting its airline, Emirates.

The source said: “This is a cold war between the Nigerian Government and the UAE Government. The UAE Government is saying that if their own airline can’t make money from the Nigerian routes, then, no airline would be allowed to make money through the same route, including Air Peace.

“That is what they are trying to say. They will now hide under Covid-19 measures for their action. I just hope this crisis can be settled amicably by the two governments. Passengers will suffer this action.”

Emirates Airlines on Wednesday said that its outbound flight services from Lagos and Abuja would recommence on February 28, 2021.

The airline, which before the temporary suspension of the Lagos and Abuja routes was operating twice daily into Nigeria, earlier in the month, announced plans to suspend outward flights due to the controversies that trailed the compulsory Rapid Antigen Testing (RPT) prior to departure of its flights for Nigerian passengers.