Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, has confirmed that Emirates Airline is gearing up to recommence flight operations in Nigeria and the exact date for the resumption is expected to be announced to the public soon.
Recall that in October 2022, Emirates Airline cancelled flight operations to Nigeria over its inability to repatriate funds trapped in the country.
However, after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in September, his spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, said the visa ban imposed on Nigerians had been lifted and Emirates, alongside Etihad, would resume flights to Nigeria.
The UAE authorities later contradicted Ngelale’s claim, a development that subjected the presidency to severe criticisms.
In a post via X on Sunday, Keyamo said he met some top officials of the United Arab Emirates flag carrier and discussed the resumption of flights from Dubia to Nigeria.
The minister said the meeting he had with the representatives of Emirates Airline regarding their Dubai to Nigeria flights was on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow last week.
He said Tinubu’s administration is currently working on some details concerning the resumption, adding that the airline will soon announce the exact date to begin operations.
He wrote: “For the better part of last week, I attended the Dubai Airshow in Dubai, UAE, which is a biennial airshow that brings together most of the industry’s professionals, experts, leaders and business people connected with Aviation around the world.
“I visited pavilions of leading aviation and aerospace industries around the world and took a valuable cue from the event towards on-going efforts at organising Nigeria’s own version of the Airshow in 2024 in Lagos, Nigeria in collaboration with the private sector.
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“On the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow in Dubai last week, I met with the top echelon of Emirates Airlines and we continued very warm and fruitful discussions towards the resumption of flights from Dubai to Nigeria, an effort which was championed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu @officialABAT. We are presently working on the small details and the airline will soon announce the exact date of their resumption of the flights.”