FG suspends Emirates over violation of PTF COVID-19 guidelines

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The Federal Government has placed a 72-hour suspension on outbound Emirates flights from Nigeria.

A circular signed by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) director-general, Musa Nuhu, stated that 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,” the circular read.

“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.”

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“This is in addition to an advert by Emirates Airlines for RDT by The Travel Clinic and Medicaid Mobile Laboratory in Lagos and Abuja, two organisations that are not approved by the appropriate regulatory bodies and PTF to conduct RDT for departing passengers.”

“Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority will impose additional sanctions on Emirates for the violations of the PTF directive and COVID-19 protocols.

“Emirates airlines will be informed in due time as when to resume operations to Nigeria,” the NCAA said.