Now Reading
Emirates Suspends All Flights to Nigeria Over Tit For Tat Slot Allocation Dispute

Emirates Suspends All Flights to Nigeria Over Tit For Tat Slot Allocation Dispute

Emirates Airline has suspended all flights to and from Nigeria in a tit for tat dispute with the Nigerian government over slot allocations. The flight suspension comes barely two weeks after Nigeria finally lifted restrictions that prevented Emirates from operating flights from the country over a separate COVID-19 testing dispute.

The airline confirmed on Friday that it would suspend flights to the West African country from next week after Nigerian officials reduced the Dubai-based airline’s weekly slot allocation (the number of flights Emirates is allowed to fly to Nigeria) from 21 to just one.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority slashed Emirates’ slot allocation because the United Arab Emirates (UAE) refused to grant Nigeria’s Air Peace airline its request for three weekly slots at Sharjah International Airport.

Local officials said Air Peace could only be granted one weekly slot because of a lack of slot availability at the airport.

Emirates only just restarted flights to Nigeria after a nine-month suspension which followed a dispute between the Nigerian and UAE governments about COVID-19 testing.

Health authorities in the UAE had detected an incredibly high COVID-19 test positivity rate amongst Nigerian travellers entering the emirates despite the fact that travellers from Nigeria were meant to have a negative test result before boarding their flights.

Fearing that the test results might be suspect, Emirates wanted to impose a pre-departure test conducted just before boarding using rapid antigen tests. The test process wasn’t approved by the Nigerian government and the two sides quickly sparred on the issue.

It remains unclear how long the current dispute might last before flights can be restarted.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.