UAE Concedes Seven Flight Slots To Nigeria

A file photo of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

 

The Federal Government has confirmed that the United Arab Emirates has conceded seven flight slots to Nigeria’s carrier, Air Peace.

The move, which was confirmed by the Ministry of Aviation on Tuesday, follows the withdrawal of Emirates’ 21-slot winter schedule by the Federal Government owing to what it described as a breach of reciprocity.

The UAE had earlier denied Air Peace flights from operating to Sharjah, near Dubai, three times a week.

It also joined the United Kingdom, Canada, and Argentina in adding Nigeria on its travel red list over cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19.


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Emirates To Suspend Nigeria Flights From December 13

Why We Withdrew Frequencies Approval For Emirates Airlines – NCAA


While the UK has cleared Nigeria and 10 other countries from its red list, the UAE has still maintained the travel restrictions.

The presidential steering committee on COVID-19 has assured Nigerians that the Federal Government is working assiduously to ensure that the flight restrictions are lifted in about a week.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, met with representatives of Emirates Airline, the Chairman/CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, and heads of agencies in the aviation sector over the flight flow between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Nigeria.

Others present at the meeting were the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, and his aviation counterpart, Hadi Sirika.

After the meeting which lasted for about three hours behind closed doors, Gbajabiamila told journalists that it was a fruitful deliberation where issues at stake were discussed.

The Speaker said both Nigeria and UAE had good diplomatic relations and that they would not allow the current row to mar the long-standing friendship.

Flight Row: Gbajabiamila Meets Air Peace, Emirates Officials

A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday met with representatives of Emirates Airline, the Chairman/CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, and heads of agencies in the aviation sector over the flight flow between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Nigeria. 

Also present at the meeting were the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema and his aviation counterpart, Hadi Sirika.

After the meeting, which was held behind closed doors and lasted for about three hours, Gbajabiamila told journalists that it was a fruitful deliberation where issues at stake were discussed.

The Speaker said both Nigeria and UAE had good diplomatic relations and that they would not allow the current row to mar the long-standing friendship.

Read Also: [Omicron] UK Govt Removes Nigeria, 10 Others From Red List

He said there were steps taken to address the issues and that “in the next couple of days, this matter will be sealed, I believe. We’re engaged in parliamentary diplomacy. That’s what we’re doing.

“We’re not going to allow this to mar the giant strides made between the two countries.”

The Speaker noted that the UAE Government had already written Air Peace to allow the airline to operate seven slots of flights.

He commended the two ministers for their efforts in resolving the issues even as he appreciated Nigerians for their sacrifices and for standing by the Nigerian Government on the face-off.

On his part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, said the meeting under Gbajabiamila’s leadership was a fruitful one, noting that the action pointed to the relevance of Executive-Legislative engagements.

He said they were hopeful that all the issues would be resolved in no distant future.

Emirates To Suspend Nigeria Flights From December 13

In this file photo taken on June 26, 2015 an Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft sits on the tarmac at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake. Ishara S. KODIKARA / AFP
In this file photo taken on June 26, 2015 an Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft sits on the tarmac at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake. Ishara S. KODIKARA / AFP

 

Emirates Airline on Friday said it was suspending all its flights between Nigeria and Dubai from December 13.

The airline’s decision comes after the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) limited its flight activities in Nigeria.

The NCAA had accused UAE authorities of not granting equal rights to the sole Nigerian carrier, Air Peace, flying to Dubai via Sharjah.

READ ALSO: Why We Withdrew Frequencies Approval For Emirates Airlines – NCAA

“With the recently imposed directive limiting Emirates to operate one flight per week to Nigeria via Abuja, Emirates will be suspending its flights between Nigeria and Dubai from 13 December 2021, until the UAE and Nigerian authorities work on a solution to the ongoing issue,” a statement from Emirates said on Friday.

“The last flights to operate on 12 December 2021are EK 783/784 to/from Lagos and EK 785/786 to/from Abuja

“Customers holding tickets with the final destinations Lagos and Abuja will not be accepted at the point of origin.

“Affected customers do not need to call us immediately for rebooking. Customers can simply hold on to their Emirates ticket and when flights resume, get in touch with their travel agent or booking office to make new travel plans.

“Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused.

“In order to receive the latest updates on their flights, customers are also advised to ensure that their contact details are correct by visiting Manage Your Booking

“Emirates is committed to its operations in Nigeria, and we stand ready to reinstate services once restrictions are lifted by the Nigerian authorities, ensuring travellers have more choice and access to trade and tourism opportunities in Dubai, and beyond to our network of over 120 destinations.”

Emirates Flights In Nigeria ‘Still On Hold’

In this file photo taken on June 26, 2015 an Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft sits on the tarmac at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake. Ishara S. KODIKARA / AFP
In this file photo taken on June 26, 2015 an Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft sits on the tarmac at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake. Ishara S. KODIKARA / AFP

 

The UAE’s largest airline and flag carrier, Emirates, has announced that “direct flight operation to and from Nigeria is still on hold.”

Flights had been suspended in March over a diplomatic row between Nigeria and the UAE over COVID-19 protocol

The UAE authorities had initially fixed June 23 for resumption of flights to Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Seven Girls Die In Jigawa Boat Accident

But the suspension remains in place.

“Affected flight bookings have been cancelled,” the airline said in a notice on its website on Friday.

“If your flight has been cancelled or impacted by route suspensions due to COVID‑19 restrictions, you don’t need to call us immediately for rebooking. You can simply hold on to your Emirates ticket and when flights resume, get in touch with your booking office or us to make new travel plans.

“Get all the information on the ‘Keep your ticket’ option here.

“Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused.

“Customers are requested to ensure their contact details are correct by visiting Manage Your Booking to receive updates.

“If you are calling to find out about travel requirements for your travel, please check the details on the travel requirements page.”

Emirates Suspends Nigeria Flights Indefinitely

Emirates Airlines
File photo of Emirates Airlines plane at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

 

Dubai airline, Emirates has suspended passenger flights to and from Nigeria till further notice.

This was announced on Monday, June 21 and the suspension takes effect immediately.

The announcement comes 48 hours after restrictions on direct flights between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates was lifted after a long-standing disagreement between both countries. The dispute was over the use of rapid COVID-19 tests.

READ ALSO: Two Million Kilograms Of Illicit Drugs Seized In Five Months – NDLEA

A statement by the airline reads “customers traveling to and from Lagos, Abuja will not be accepted for travel. Customers who have been to or connected through Lagos, Abuja in the last 14 days are not permitted to board from any point to the UAE.”

“We regret the inconvenience caused, and affected customers should contact their booking agent or Emirates call centre for rebooking,” the airline added.

There has been no explanation for the sudden reversal which puts a question mark on the bilateral relationship between both countries.

FG Lifts Suspension Of Emirates Airlines Operations

 

The Federal Government has lifted the suspension placed on Emirates Airlines operations in Nigeria.

Notice of the permit to resume operations was contained in a communique put out late on Friday by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

In its statement, the NCAA’s Director-General, Capt. Musa Nuhu said the regulatory body has received a response from Emirates Airlines regarding the earlier suspension occasioned by a violation of guidelines placed by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

The PTF had directed the immediate suspension of Emirates Airlines operations effective Feb. 4 until when the needed infrastructure and logistics were put in place for the Rapid Antigen Test (RDT) test by the Nigerian Government.

However, the NCAA DG, said an understanding has been reached with the UAE Government, leading the airline to withdraw the requirement for RDT prior to departure of their flights from Nigeria with immediate effect.

This is to be in place until such a time that the required infrastructure is made available by the Nigerian Government.

Capt Nuhu further disclosed that based on the foregoing, the PTF has directed the immediate lifting of the suspension of Emirates Airlines operations in Nigeria.

“It is therefore expected that Emirates airlines will continue to comply with the directives of the PTF on COVID-19 and other protocols of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the NCAA boss noted.

Below is the full statement regarding the lifting of the suspension.

READ ALSO: FG Suspends Emirates Flights From Nigeria


NCAA/DG/ AlR/11/16/286 05 February, 2021

The Country Manager Emirates Airlines Nigeria Victoria Island, Lagos.

RE: RAPID ANTIGEN COVID-19 TESTING (ROT) FOR EMIRATES PASSENGERS

Your letter dated 5th February 2021on the above subject refers.

We have carefully read your response to our letter NCANDG/AIR11/16/285 of 4th February 2021 and arrived at the understanding that the UAE Government has granted approval to Emirates airlines to withdraw the requirement for Rapid Antigen Testing (ROT) prior to departure of Emirates flights from Nigeria with immediate effect until such a time that the required infrastructure is made available by the Nigerian Government.

Based on the foregoing, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) has directed the immediate lifting of the suspension of Emirates Airlines operations in Nigeria.
It is therefore expected that Emirates airlines will continue to comply with the directives of the PTF on COVID-19 and other protocols of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Emirates airlines will be duly informed of ongoing enforcement actions by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) with regards to the established non-compliances to PTF directives and protocols as enumerated in our letter of 4th February 2021.

Do accept the assurances of-my highest regards. Please be guided accordingly.

Capt. Musa S. Nuhu
Director General

Corporate Headquarters: Nnamdi Azikwe lnt’I Airport, Domestic Wing, Abuja.
Tel: +234 (1) 7610041. +234 (1) 7610042, +234 (1) 7610043, +234 (1) 7610044,Tel/Fax: +234 807 729 1113.
Lagos Office: AVIATION HOUSE, Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Domestic Wing, lkeja.
Tel: +234 (1) 4721521Fax: +234 (1) 2790421Consumer Protection: +234 (1) 7607286(24hrs):Airworthiness: +234 (1) 4734482;
Licencing: +234 (1) 7739972;Operations: +234 (1) 4714339;Switch Board: +234 (1) 7610036, +234 (1) 7610037.
Email: [email protected] Website: www.ncaa.gov.ng

Ganduje’s Creation Of Kano Emirates Was To Carry Everyone Along, Says Bayero

Emir Ado Bayero is the 15th Emir of Kano.
File photo of the Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero

 

The Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero said the creation of Bichi, Karaye, Gaya, and Rano Emirates council by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje was to carry everyone along.

Bayero disclosed this on Tuesday while receiving his Karaye counterpart, Dr. Ibrahim Abubakar II on an allegiance visit over his confirmation as permanent Chairman, Kano State council of chiefs.

“The rationale behind establishing an additional four Emirates was to bring the subjects closer to the traditional leaders,” he said while reiterating his resolve to ensure justice and fairness for all.

“Nothing good will be achieved by going in isolation; my doors remain open for complimenting any effort that will go a long way in improving the lots of the teeming populace.”

I Came To ‘Win Trophies:’ Willian Explains Why He Joined Arsenal

Willian joined Arsenal from Chelsea. Photo: [email protected] FC

 

 

Brazil star, Willian has said Arsenal is a big club and he has come to help the team win trophies. 

Willian, 32, on Friday, joined the North London side on a three-year deal after his contract expired with Chelsea.

He said Arsenal is a big team and deserve to win trophies, pledging to give his best to the club on the pitch.

READ ALSO: England Appoint Wiegmann As Head Coach To Replace Neville

“I come to try to win trophies because this club deserves to win again, and I think you have to do the best as possible to win every game,” he told Arsenal’s website.

“I always train hard and go on the pitch giving 100 per cent to help this team to win games and to win titles as well.”

He joins Arsenal on a free transfer with Chelsea unwilling to offer the multi-year contract he desired and is reportedly set to earn £200,000 ($261,000) a week.

 

 

The 2012 Champions League winner said Arsenal boss, Mikel Arteta is having a “new project” with the Gunners which he wants to be a part of.

Arteta himself believes Willian’s experience will make a “difference” for the 2003/2004 Premier League winners.

“He has the experience of everything in the football world but to still have the ambition to come here and contribute to bringing the club where it belongs,” the Spaniard explained, saying he is impressed with the talks he had with the player.

 

Arsenal Defeat Chelsea 2-1 To Win FA Cup
File photo: Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang holds the winner’s trophy as the team celebrates victory after the English FA Cup final football match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London, on August 1, 2020. Arsenal won the match 2-1. Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP

 

Arsenal’s technical director, Edu described his compatriot as a player with a “lot of fantastic attributes” and said he has known Willian “very well, since a long time ago” from working together with the Brazilian national team.

Willian was on the bench earlier this month when Arsenal defeated the Blues 2-1 to win their 14th FA Cup.

He won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, a League Cup and the Europa League in his seven years stint with the Blues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chartered Plane Conveying Nigerians To Lagos From Dubai To Arrive At 7pm Today

 

A chartered plane conveying Nigerian returnees from the United Arab Emirates will now land at 7pm today, after it made a U-turn in a bid to properly tend to a pregnant woman who reportedly went into labour.

The flight which was expected to come in at 3pm is now expected to land at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport at 7 pm.

Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama confirmed the arrival time during his speech at the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Chartered Plane Conveying Nigerians To Lagos From Dubai Makes U-Turn

“One of the passengers, a lady, had a baby on the flight, or went into labour,” Onyeama said.

“So the plane had to turn back. And I am happy to say mother and child are doing well in the hospital. And the arrival time has been rescheduled to 7 pm this evening.”

After weeks of delay, the first batch of Nigerians stuck abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic were expected in the country today.

The Emirates flight is expected to be the first of at least two other flights scheduled to evacuate Nigerians within the next few days.

Emirates To Suspend All Passenger Flights From March 25

(FILES) A photo taken on September 24, 2019 shows an Airbus A380 of the Emirates airline during landing at the airport in Duesseldorf, western Germany. – Dubai carrier Emirates Airline announced on March 22, 2020 it will suspend all passenger flights from March 25 amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. “Today we made the decision to temporarily suspend all passenger flights by 25 March 2020,” the airline said on Twitter. The United Arab Emirates announced on Friday the first two deaths from the COVID-19 disease in the country. Ina FASSBENDER / AFP.

 

Dubai carrier Emirates announced on Sunday it will suspend all passenger flights from March 25 amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“By Wednesday 25 March, although we will still operate cargo flights, which remain busy, Emirates will have temporarily suspended all its passenger operations,” the airline’s chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum said in a statement.

“We continue to watch the situation closely, and as soon as things allow, we will reinstate our services.”

Emirates passenger flights normally serve 159 destinations.

The United Arab Emirates on Friday announced its first two deaths from the COVID-19 disease, having reported 153 infections so far, of which 38 people have recovered.

Maktoum said that, until January this year, the Emirates Group was “doing well” against current financial year targets, but “COVID-19 has brought all that to a sudden and painful halt over the past six weeks”.

READ ALSO: Australia Announces Nearly $40bn In Virus Relief

“The world has literally gone into quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” he said.

The airline also said it will slash basic salaries — by between 25 and 50 percent — of a majority of employees for three months, but will not cut jobs.

“Rather than ask employees to leave the business, we chose to implement a temporary basic salary cut as we want to protect our workforce,” said Maktoum. “We want to avoid cutting jobs.”

The disease first emerged in China in late December and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization earlier this month.

Gulf countries have imposed various restrictions to combat the spread of the virus, particularly in the air transport sector.

The UAE has stopped granting visas on arrival and forbidden foreigners who are legal residents but are outside the country from returning.

AFP

Bichi Residents Protest Over Court’s Nullification Of New Kano Emirates

 

Hundreds of Bichi residents in Kano State took to the streets on Thursday to protest over a court ruling that nullified the new emirates.

Carrying placards, the protesters also met with Emir Aminu Ado Bayero who was returning from Daura and expressed their displeasure over the development.

They told the emir that despite the court ruling, they are still with him and regard him as their first-class emir.

Read Also: Court Nullifies Creation Of Four Additional Kano Emirates

The Kano State High Court presided over by Justice Usman Na’abba, had earlier ruled that the creation of the emirates was not done in accordance with due process.

Meanwhile, the Kano State Government in a statement said it will study the ruling but will continue to recognize the emirs as first class.

Kano Emirates: Court Dismisses Kingmakers Suit, Recognises New Emirs

 

A Kano High Court has dismissed an application by four Kano Emirate Kingmakers against the creation of new Emirates and installation of new emirs by the state government.

At the court sitting on Friday, the presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Tijjani Badamosi rejected the application argued by the plaintiffs Counsel, Suraj Saida, SAN.

Justice Badamosi ruled the new Emirs can continue going about their lawful activities as Emir of their Emirates.

The court had on May 10 made an order of interim injunction directed all parties in this suit to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

The Kano State government had created four new emirates and upgraded four traditional rulers to the first-class status, making them emirs after Governor Abdullahi Ganduje assented a bill passed by the state Assembly, okaying the new Emirates, into law.

Four kingmakers in Kano Emirate, however, sued the governor, the Speaker of the Kano House of Assembly, the Kano State House of Assembly and the Attorney General of Kano.

The new emirs Tafida Abubakar-Ila, Ibrahim Abdulkadir, Ibrahim Abubakar ll, and Aminu Ado-Bayero were joined as defendants in the suit.

The plaintiffs in the suit are Madakin Kano, District head of Dawakintofa, Yusuf Nabahani; Makaman Kano, District head of Wudil, Abdullahi Sarki-Ibrahim; Sarkin Dawaki Mai Tuta, District head of Gabasawa, Bello Abubakar and Sarkin Ban Kano, District head of Dambatta, Mukhtar Adnan.