The federal government lifted the ban on Emirates Airlines on Wednesday, September 30, after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed to resume visa issuance to Nigerians.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who announced this via his verified Twitter handle on Wednesday explained that the lifting of the visa restriction was a condition for Nigeria to allow Emirates Airlines operations in Nigeria.
He tweeted, “UAE has written to state that they agree to issue visas to Nigerians, consequently decision has been reached to allow Emirates to fly into Nigeria. Commencement of the Visa issuance is condition precedent. Please bear with this unusual situation. Many thanks.”
The Federal Government had banned Emirates Airlines from Lagos and Abuja airports after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) allegedly refused to grant fresh visa applications submitted by Nigerians.
Recall that the federal government also banned European carriers, with the exception of British Airways, from operating in Nigeria after the European Union imposed travel restrictions on the country’s citizens.
The flights that were affected include Air France, KLM, Etihad, RwandAir, Air Namibia, Royal Air Maroc, Lufthansa, TAAG Angola Airlines. The federal government announced that they were not granted approval to commence flight operations in Nigeria.