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Keyamo meets UAE Envoy, says Emirates will declare resumption of Nigerian flights in days

The minister, in a Wednesday post on X (formerly Twitter), said he met with the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Nigeria, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, in Abuja on Tuesday.

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Keyamo meets UAE Envoy, says Emirates will declare resumption of Nigerian flights in days

Story by Uchechi OGBUEHI-DANIEL, Lagos

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, says Emirates Airlines has indicated a definite date to resume flight operations to Nigerian airports.

The minister, in a Wednesday post on X (formerly Twitter), said he met with the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Nigeria, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Keyamo said the envoy handed him a correspondence from the UAE-based airline assuring him that a date has been given for the resumption of flights to Nigeria.

“Yesterday (On Tuesday), I paid a working visit to the Ambassador of the UAE to Nigeria, His Excellency, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi at the UAE Embassy in Abuja.

“He handed me a correspondence from the Emirates Airline indicating a definite date of their resumption of flights to Nigeria. That date will be formally announced by Emirates Airlines in a matter of days,” the minister stated.

This was not the first time that the aviation minister would make an announcement on Emirates Airlines’ flights resumption to Nigeria. In November, 2023, Keyamo had said that airlines would soon announce the exact date of their resumption of flight operations to Nigeria.

Nigeria and the UAE have a long history of restriction of flights between both countries based on certain unresolved issues surrounding the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA). Visa restrictions later surfaced as diplomatic fireworks continue between Nigeria and the UAE, which is a top destination for Nigerian migrants and tourists.

The aftermath of the protracted conflict was the suspension of flights to Nigeria by Emirates Airlines in 2022 over its inability to repatriate trapped funds in Nigeria.

In September 2023, President Bola Tinubu met with UAE President, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi, and it was subsequently rumored that the UAE has lifted its visa ban imposed on Nigerian travelers.

However, presidential spokesman Bayo Onanuga later clarified that the Arab country was yet to lift visa restriction on Nigerians.

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