Emirates Airlines has announced the resumption of flight operations to and from Ghana and four African countries, shunning Nigeria.
“From January 13, 2022, Emirates will resume passenger services to and from Guinea (CKY), Cote d’Ivoire (ABJ), Ghana (ACC), Uganda (EBB) and Angola (LAD),” said the airline.
Passengers from Guinea, Uganda or Ghana must present a negative PCR test certificate conducted 48 hours before departure, including “a 06‑hours Rapid PCR with a QR code, and a PCR test on arrival in DXB,” adding that “test validity is calculated from the time the sample was collected.”
The airline on December 25, 2021 suspended incoming passenger flights from Nigeria and some selected African countries over the emergence of Omicron variant of COVID-19.
However, Emirates has lifted the ban on five selected countries, enforcing stricter COVID-19 protocols.
Passengers from Cote d’Ivoire and Angola are required to present a negative 72-hour-old PCR test and undergo another PCR test upon arrival in the UAE.
However, Dubai nationals and children under 12 years were exempted from the stipulated guidelines.
In June 2021, the UAE had mandated Nigerian passengers to undergo a four-hour Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) as an additional requirement to the 72-hour PCR test, a move that angered Nigeria’s aviation minister, Hadi Sirika who described it as “discriminatory profiling.”
Nigeria’s exclusion from Emirates flights resumption has raised concerns that the diplomatic spat between both authorities may be prolonged.