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Emirates to Resume Daily Flight Services Between Lagos and Dubai on October 1, 2024

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) flag carrier, Emirates Airlines, has announced it’s return to flight operation in Nigeria.

The airline says it is starting with daily flights between Lagos and Dubai from October 1, 2024.

This comes 25 months after the airline suspended flights operations. It complained its operating funds of over $85 million were held up in Nigeria’s central bank. The government then faced foreign exchange shortages.

In addition to flight suspension, the UAE also imposed a visa ban on Nigerians. This effectively halted travel between the two countries. The government of President Bola Tinubu has been in talks with the UAE government and Emirates to resolve the issues. In August, President Tinubu was in the UAE to hold talks with UAE leaders on the issue.

After much back-and-forth, Emirates on Thursday May 16, announced the resumption of flights.

Daily Flights To 140 Destinations

According to a statement from Emirate, it will be flying daily between Lagos and Dubai using a Boeing 777-300ER. It says flight EK783 will depart Dubai at 09.45hrs and arrive in Lagos at 15.20hrs. The return flight EK784 will leave Lagos at 1730hrs, arrive in Dubai at 0510hrs the next day.

Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Deputy President and Chief Commercial Officer, said they are excited at resuming services in Nigeria. “The Lagos-Dubai service has traditionally been popular with customers in Nigeria, and we hope to reconnect leisure and business travelers to Dubai and onwards to our network of over 140 destinations. We thank the Nigerian government for their partnership and support in re-establishing this route and look forward to welcoming passengers back onboard.

Visa Ban Status

While Emirates resume flights in October, nothing was said about the visa ban. Insider sources reveal however, the visa ban could be lifted before the resumption of flights.

More Choices, Lower Fares

The re-entrance of Emirates into Nigerian aviation market comes at a time of fierce competition by international carriers. Experts think this will widen the choices for Nigeria’s flying customers and could improve tickets fares even further.

General Secretary of the Aviation Roundtable, Mr. Olumide Ohunayo, said he expects even lower airfares on international routes from Emirates in order to recapture its lost market share. He also said there is need for equal treatment for Nigerian carriers flying to the UAE, ensuring they receive the same opportunities as Emirates in Nigeria.

We expect more options on international routes, which should affect ticket prices. Emirates has always been strong with intercontinental flights using Dubai as their hub. However, we need clarity on whether they will issue visas to Nigerians before October 1 and allow our flag carriers to enter Dubai with equal treatment”.

Nigerian international carrier, Air Peace, have often bitterly complained of unfair treatment at foreign airports. It says conversely, foreign airlines get star priority services by Nigeria aviation officials. For instance, Air Peace argues it should be allowed to fly to Dubai – UAE’s prime airport since Emirates flies to Lagos. But Air Peace slot consigns it to Sharjah Airport, forcing Air Peace passengers to endure additional cost and logistics to get to Dubai from Sharjah.

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Iheanacho Achugbu
Iheanacho Achugbuhttps://joliba.com.ng
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