The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned transit flights with Nigerians on board from its airports effective February 1, 2021.
By Raphael Oni
This directive means only direct flights originating from Nigeria are allowed to fly directly into UAE.
UAE authorities said the updated travel protocol is necessary in view of the second wave of COVID-19 currently experienced in most countries.
“Passengers must travel directly from Nigeria to Dubai. No passengers must enter Nigeria to Dubai from any other country/station if they have visited or transited via Nigeria in the last 14 days,” the advisory read.
This is in addition to the mandatory COVID-19 negative test certificate that passengers are required to tender before departure.
Airlines like Egypt Air, Qatar and Ethiopian airlines who operate transit flights to Dubai from their destination countries would not be able to convey Nigerian passengers.
In compliance with the directive, Egypt Air has sent a memo out to passengers.
“Sequel to the memo we received from Dubai Airport Authority asking all Nigeria travelers coming to Dubai to fly directly effective February 1, 2021,” the memo read.
“In view of this we, therefore request you to kindly notify our esteemed passengers that Egypt Air will not lift passengers from Nigeria to Dubai from January 31, 2021, until further notice. You are hereby advised to check & cancel all your bookings & inform your passengers this new development.
“We are in view of the above expressly authorising full refund for those who want to make refund and seek for alternative or tickets will be opened for future flights for passengers needing to keep their tickets. We thank you for all the trust you reposed on our carrier & promised to update you if any further development on this in the nearest future.”
An investigation carried out by TheCable had revealed that ready made negative COVID-19 tests were being sold to passengers in Nigeria without going through the mandatory tests as stipulated by the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19
Also, it was reported that the new variant of the COVID-19 first detected in the UK and dubbed ‘lineage B.1.1.7’ which has forced some countries to ban flights from the UK and South Africa has also been detected in Nigeria also.