The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has clarified why it withdrew the ministerial approval granted to Emirate Airlines by the Ministry of Aviation.
With the withdrawal, which takes effect from December 12, 2021, Emirates Airlines can only fly into Abuja (Nigeria) on Thursdays, while its Lagos flights are suspended.
Briefing the journalist on the issue, Capt.
Musa Nuhu, Director-General, NCAA” said that it withdrew the approval following the refusal of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of UAE to grant the same right to the sole Nigerian carrier, Air Peace Flying to Dubai via Sharjah.
Captain Nuhu explained that Senator Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation had graciously granted Emirates Airlines 21 frequencies weekly to two major airports in Nigeria, Lagos, Fourteen and Abuja, seven.
“He regretted that despite this approval, the GCAA refused to grant Air Peace the three weekly frequencies to Sharjah, it requested for, approving just one frequency weekly.
According to him, the GCAA had attributed its refusal to grant the three frequencies to the airline the inadequate slots in Sharjah airport, stressing that the government would continue to protect Nigeria’s businesses.
He said, “The Nigerian Government was gracious to grant Emirates Airlines 21 frequencies it requested for.
The airline wants to operate 14 weekly flights to Lagos and another seven weekly to Abuja airports.
“However, Air Peace only requested for three weekly flights to Sharjah, not even Dubai airport, but the GCAA refused the airline.
The GCAA only approved one weekly frequency to the airline.
The only excused they made was that they don’t have enough slots.
Where is the justice in this? That is capital flight out of Nigeria.
Nigeria should protect its own.
NCAA had in a letter with the reference number: NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/329, dated December 9, 2021 with the head: ‘Withdrawal of Ministerial Approval of Emirates Airlines Winter Schedule,’ and signed by Nuhu to the Country Manager, Emirates Airlines withdrew the initial approval granted the airline.
The letter read: “I write to inform you of the withdrawal of the approval granted to Emirates Airlines winter schedule.
This approval was conveyed via a letter with reference number FMA/ATMO/501/C.
104/XV/356 dated 1st December 2021.
The withdrawal becomes effective on Sunday 12th December 2021 at 2300hr.
“Please kindly note, henceforth Emirates Airlines is granted approval to operate only one weekly passenger frequency to Abuja on Thursdays”.
Nigerian Govt withdraws permission granted to Emirates Airlines