Following the decision of the United Arab Emirates to begin visa issuance to Nigerians, Etihad Airways has been approved to operate international flights into Nigeria
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made this announcement on Thursday during a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, which held in Abuja.
He noted that the foreign carrier was already talking with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority regarding the process.
Similarly, Emirates Airlines are also scheduled to operate flights into the country starting with Abuja and Lagos.
He said, “UAE has commenced issuance of visas today. Consequent upon that, Emirates Airlines will begin operations from tomorrow. They are allowed to start daily flights into Abuja and Lagos.
“Their sister company from the same country, Etihad are working on their schedule and once they do that, they will let us know. They (Etihad) will be discussing with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
He added, “The only airline that goes to the UAE from Nigeria is Air Peace, they are also working on the resumption and will let you know.”
Sirika revealed that 27 passengers have failed to comply with the laid down rules for the operations of international flights and will be sanctioned forthwith.
He said, “Sadly, we have had 27 cases of passengers in Abuja that are not complying with our requirements for PCR negative result tests. Some of them appeared with rapid result tests which are not accepted and approved. While some of them came with expired PCR and no tests at all.
“Now the protocol and procedure are that the airlines that brought in these passengers will be dealt with according to the law. For these violations, NCAA will be dealing with them accordingly.”
The Minister reiterated that foreign carriers are expected to come in the country with no more than 200 passengers, however, they can carry as many passengers as possible on the return trip.
He added that any other review will be communicated by the taskforce.
Air Namibia, Royal Air Maroc, Lufthansa, TAAG Angola Airlines are among the airlines not yet approved to commence international flight operations.