Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, has announced that Emirates Airline is poised to resume flight operations in Nigeria in the near future.
Keyamo shared this update on his X account on Sunday, revealing that he had fruitful discussions with top officials of the United Arab Emirates flag carrier during the Dubai Airshow last week.
Keyamo expressed optimism about the imminent resumption of flights and mentioned that the details were being diligently worked on by the administration of President Bola Tinubu. The minister stated, “We are presently working on the small details, and the airline will soon announce the exact date of their resumption of the flights.”
During the Dubai Airshow, Keyamo also visited pavilions of leading aviation and aerospace industries globally. He disclosed his intention to contribute efforts towards organizing Nigeria’s version of the Airshow in 2024 in Lagos in collaboration with the private sector.
Emirates Airlines had previously cancelled flight operations to Nigeria in October 2022 due to challenges in repatriating funds trapped in the country. The airline had suspended operations twice in the preceding year, first in August 2022. The suspension was attributed to the airline’s $85 million revenue being trapped in Nigeria.
Following President Tinubu’s visit to the UAE in September, there were claims that the visa ban on Nigerians had been lifted, and both Emirates and Etihad would resume flights to Nigeria. However, UAE authorities contradicted these claims, leading to criticism of the presidency. The recent discussions between Keyamo and Emirates officials signify positive strides towards the resumption of the airline’s operations in Nigeria.