The Tunisian authorities lifted a ban on Emirates flights between the capital, Tunis and Dubai late Thursday night. Emirates had been barred from operating flights to the country since 24th December 2017 after the UAE suddenly prevented Tunisian women from entering or transiting through Dubai without warning.
In a statement from the UAE’s official news agency, WAM, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the ban had been lifted in “light of the extensive security communication and the information received from the Tunisian side.”
The UAE has said very little about its reasons for implementing the ban on Tunisian women which was put in place on 22nd December. However, according to Reuters, the UAE had reacted to security information, indicating female jihadists were attempting to use Tunisian passports to stage a terrorist attack.
Tunisia said it had barred Emirates from operating in its country until the airline could find “a way to operate according to international law and treaties.” In response, the UAE authorities have announced: “standard processes will be reinstated to their normal state before the unforeseen circumstances.”
Relations between Tunisia and the UAE have been strained in recent years, despite efforts on both sides to improve dialogue and cooperation. Tunisia’s role in the Arab Spring and it’s ongoing relationship with Qatar are said to be ongoing stumbling blocks.
In October, Emirates increased its Dubai – Tunis service to seven-times weekly using its Boeing 777-300 aircraft. The airline has operated flights to Tunisia since 2006 and has reportedly carried more than 1 million passengers between the two countries.
Emirates employs around 500 Tunisian nationals worldwide, 200 of whom are cabin crew at the airline.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.