The Federal Government has suspended Emirates Airlines from operating flights out of Nigeria for 72 hours over violation of Covid-19 directives.
The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority said this in a statement dated February 4, 2020.
The ban follows violation of directive issued by the Task Force.
The task force had directed the airline either to accept passengers without Rapid Antigen Tests, pending when the infrastructure and logistics are put in place, or suspend its flights to and from Nigeria pending when the facilities are provided.
The NCAA said the airline has continued to airlift passengers from Nigeria using Rapid Antigen Tests conducted by laboratories that are neither approved nor authorised.
It said, “Emirates should suspend its operations to Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) effective 72 hours from midnight on Thursday, February 4, 2021.
“During the 72-hour leeway, Emirates Airlines is only authorised to bring passengers into Nigeria. Outbound passengers are not authorised.”
The statement said the airline defaulted Paragraph 5 of a previous letter addressed to Emirates by the NCAA on February 2, 2021.
It added, “It has been brought to the attention of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 that Emirates has continued to airlift passengers from Nigeria using Rapid Antigen Tests conducted by laboratories that are neither approved nor authorised.
“It is in violation of paragraph five of the NCAA letter of February 2, 2021, addressed to your good self.
“Based on the foregoing and to enable Nigerian passengers put in place needed infrastructures and logistics for COVID-19 RDT testing for departing passengers, the PTF has directed that Emirates Airline should either accept passengers without RDT, pending when the infrastructure and logistics are put in place, or suspend its flights to and from Nigeria until such a time when the required Infrastructure and logistics are fully established and implemented.
“Emirates Airlines has not been in compliance with the two options given by the PTF, as records obtained by the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency indicate that Emirates Airlines operated flights from Lagos and Abuja airports.”