The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has announced that it will ban Emirate Airlines from inbound and outbound flights, following the continuous refusal of the airline to fly out passengers from Nigeria.
The ban is expected to take effect from midnight on Wednesday.
Emirate and KLM had in the past few weeks flown passengers into Nigeria but refused to fly passengers owing to the new guidelines they introduced as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika, while speaking during the weekly briefing by the PTF yesterday, described the Emirate airline’s actions as discriminatory and devoid of scientific reasons.
He, however, noted that KLM has rescinded its decision on the guidelines for intending international passengers.
Giving insight into the discussions it had with both airlines, Sirika said: “Both airlines decided to carry only inbound passengers and not take outbound passengers but their reasons are adverse which doesn’t make sense. So, we gave them the option to do what we believe is safe and correct and KLM has accepted to bring passengers in and out on the conditions that we agreed upon which is to have a PCR test within 72 hours.
“Emirate didn’t accept the position and so, we have asked that Emirate be banned from operations midnight Wednesday and that has been communicated with them since Sunday but like the PTF chairman has said, if they come back to us to resume as KLM has done, they will be allowed, otherwise, the status quo remains and they would be banned from the inbound and outbound flights.”