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Omicron: UAE averts diplomatic faceoff with Nigeria, reverses ban on Nigerian airlines

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recanted its earlier directive to airlines operating from Nigeria to Dubai not to fly passengers from the West African countries into its airspace.

With the rescindment, Nigeria and UAE might have resolved to settle the issues relating to air travel between them as seven flight slots have been alloted to Nigeria’s Air Peace.

It will now fly directly to Dubai instead of Sharjah Airport.

The General Civil Aviation Authority of UAE had on December 13, 2021 sent a letter to this effect to Air Peace.

“As at 7pm, the General Civil Aviation Authority of the UAE has written to Air Peace to come and take its slots. Unlike before, the UAE conceded seven slots to the Nigerian carrier.

“In the letter, the UAE said Air Peace can fly directly to Dubai and not Sharjah Airport. This is the latest on the development.

“Even though they did not follow the right diplomatic channel by writing the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs which will in turn inform the Aviation Minister, this is still a positive development,” a dependable source said.

Persecondnews.com recalls that the Federal Government had last week stopped Emirates’ 20 frequencies a week, leaving the airline with only one flight to Abuja in response to UAE allocating only one flight a week to Air Peace, a Nigerian carrier.

The Middle East country had hinged its decision on the 36 travellers from Nigeria who tested positive to COVID-19.

Following the directive, hundreds of passengers were stranded at the various airports in Nigeria as airlines including Ethiopian Airlines, and Turkish Air started rejecting passengers from Nigeria.

“UAE says no entry for Nigerian passengers from any airline. Ethiopian just offloaded all passengers heading to Dubai. We are voiding Dubai bound tickets,” an operator said.

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