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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Emirates Airlines returns to Nigeria after twenty-three months of suspension

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Twenty-three months after suspending operations in Nigeria, Emirates Airlines has indicated its readiness to return direct flight services from its base in Dubai to the country.

The airline in a statement issued on Thursday, May 16, by its media consultant in Nigeria, said that it would resume flight services from October 1, 2024.

The airline had in November 2022, suspended flight operations to Nigeria over its failure to repatriate the $85 million revenue trapped in the country.

The suspension was the second time the airline halted flights to the West African country over its unrepatriated funds — the first time was in August 2022.

But, the airline in a statement on Thursday, said I would resume with a daily service between Lagos and Dubai, thereby offering customers more choice and connectivity from the two cities.

The statement hinted that this service would be operated using a Boeing 777-300ER.

It explained that EK783 would depart Dubai at 09:45hrs, arriving in Lagos at 1520hrs; the return flight EK784 would leave Lagos at 17:30hrs and arrive in Dubai at 05:10hrs the next day.

Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Deputy President, expressed delight with the return of flight services between the two countries.

Kazim noted that the Lagos-Dubai service had traditionally been popular with customers in Nigeria and hoped to reconnect leisure and business travellers to Dubai and onwards to its network of over 140 destinations.

“We thank the Nigerian government for their partnership and support in re-establishing this route and we look forward to welcoming passengers back onboard,” he added.

With the resumption of operations to Nigeria, Emirates operates to 19 gateways in Africa with 157 flights per week from Dubai, with further reach to an additional 130 regional points in Africa through its codeshare and interline partnerships with South African Airways, Airlink, Royal Air Maroc, Tunis Air, among others.

As a major economic hub in Africa, Nigeria and the UAE have built strong bilateral trade relations over the years, headlined by Lagos as the nation’s commercial centre.

With the resumption of daily passenger flights, the airline’s cargo arm, Emirates SkyCargo, will further bolster the trade relationship by offering more than 300 tonnes of belly-hold cargo capacity, in and out of Lagos every week.

Emirates SkyCargo would also support Nigerian businesses by exporting their goods via its state-of-the-art hub in Dubai, into key markets such as the UAE, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Bahrain, among others with key anticipated commodities such as Kola Nuts, food and beverages, and urgent courier material.

Emirates SkyCargo would further import vital goods such as pharmaceuticals and electronics as well as general cargo from key markets such as the UAE, India, and Hong Kong.

Keeping trade flowing seamlessly, these goods would be transported quickly, efficiently, and reliably via the airline’s multi-vertical specialized product portfolio.

The Emirates Boeing 777-300ER serving Lagos would operate with eight First Class suites, 42 Business Class seats, and 304 seats in Economy Class.

Offering the best experience in the sky, passengers can dine on regionally inspired multi-course menus developed by a team of award-winning chefs complemented by a wide selection of premium beverages.

The Nation

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