June 8, 2023

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Nigeria grants Emirates conditional approval to ‘access’ its airspace

2 min read

Mr. Geofrey Onyeama, Foreign Affairs Minister

The Federal Government of Nigeria has agreed that the Emirates Airlines should resume its flights into and out of the country on condition that the United Arabs Emirates (UAE), commences visa issuance to Nigerian nationals.

According to the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, the commencement of the airline’s operations would however depend on the commencement of visa issuance by the UAE.

The Minister stated that, “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.”

The Minister expressed appreciation for the understanding of everyone who had been negatively affected by the recent policy decisions which forbade some airlines from operating into the country when Nigeria reopened its air space to international flights.

Capt. Hadi Sirika explained the rationale for the seemingly harsh decision that, it was taken to protect the interests of the nation and its citizens who deserved to be treated with respect and dignity, just in the same manner Nigeria treats other nationals. 

Recalled that Emirates Airlines was initially given approval to operate into the country when the nation’s airspace was opened to international operations on 5th September, an approval which was withdrawn following the inability of Nigerians to neither obtain nor use valid tourist visas to enter the UAE.

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