The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reacted to the withdrawal of Emirates airline’s flight frequencies by the Nigerian government.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) withdrew the approval of 21 Emirates airline’s weekly flights to Nigeria, comprising 14 to Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos and seven to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) refused to grant the three frequencies requested by Air Peace, the only Nigerian carrier operating to Dubai via Sharjah.
Shortly after the airline announced suspension of its flight operations in Nigeria, the UAE has reacted to the withdrawal, describing it as “unjust”.
According to Abdulla Bin Touq Al Mari, minister of economy and chairman of the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Air Peace which initially operated at Sharjah Airport, shifted to Dubai Airport and then returned to Sharjah Airport.
Al Mari stated that it would be unreasonable for an airline to expect any airport to maintain their slots when they ceased operating at that airport.”
“The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) presents its compliments to the Federal Ministry of Aviation of Nigeria and has the honour to refer to the letter Ref. No. NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/329 dated 9th December of 20921, whereby Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) notified the country manager, Emirates Airline (EK) in Nigeria, regarding the withdrawal of the ministerial approval granted to that airline with respect to their Winter Schedule.
“The NCAA further advised EK that his withdrawal become effective on Sunday 12, 2021, and hence EK is granted approval to operate only one weekly passenger frequency to Abuja on Thursdays.
“The GCAA has the honour to highlight that such
a decision by the NCAA is totally unjustified especially, at it has come to our attention that their action is being taken against the background of Air Peace not securing all 3 slots at Sharjah Airport which they desire.
“Air Peace initially operated at Sharjah Airport, shifted to Dubai Airport, and then returned to Sharjah Airport. It would be unreasonable for an airline to expect any airport to maintain their slots when they ceased operating at that airport.”