The Federal Government has placed a 72-hour suspension on outbound Emirates flights from Nigeria.
This is contained in a circular issued on February 4 by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
The circular states that the suspension followed a violation of guidelines placed by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
According to the circular signed by NCAA director-general, Musa Nuhu, the airline has been airlifting passengers from Nigeria using rapid antigen tests conducted by laboratories not approved by regulatory authorities.
Based on the foregoing and to enable the Nigerian government to put in place the needed infrastructure and logistics for COVID-19 RDT testing for departing passengers, the PTF has directed that Emirates Airlines 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 from Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) indicates that Emirates Airlines operated the flights from both Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja” the circular read in part.
The NCAA said additional sanctions would be imposed on Emirates Airlines for the violations of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and COVID-19 protocols.
It also noted that the airline will be informed as to when to resume operations.