The tense relationship between Emirates Airlines and the Nigerian Government is continuing to disturb or obstruct flights in and out of the country. Emirates airline passenger flights to and from Nigeria are now on hold as the Nigerian Government responds to a COVID-19 testing system they call discriminatory and lacking any scientific basis.

This is the second time in just two months the Nigerian Government has banned Emirates airline from flying into the country. Emirates do fly between Dubai and Lagos and Dubai and Abuja before the ban. Emirates cargo and emergency flights are not included in the ban.


Nigeria gave Emirates a three-day ban on outbound flights in February. The cause for the first ban was an airline-imposed COVID-19 testing regime at Emirates Airlines that wasn’t suitable with the Nigerian Government’s system. However, the problem was quickly resolved, and few Emirates flights were affected.

Emirates’ COVID-19 testing regime was now back on the Nigerian Government’s radar after the first ban was resolved. Now the Nigerian Government gave the airline a further ban that took effect at midnight on March 17. The present ban affected both inbound and outbound passengers. Emirates already confirmed that the ban has suspended passenger flights to Nigeria until further notice.

However, it was later discovered that Emirates airline has been flying very few passengers on its outgoing flights from Nigeria before this present ban. Except for UAE citizens and officials, Dubai has also banned travelers who have been in Nigeria within 14 days of traveling.


Despite Emirates putting its flights to Nigeria on hold, a number of other airlines continue to fly into the country. Lagos Murtala Muhammad International Airport is welcoming flights by Delta Air Lines, Ethiopian Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Qatar Airways.

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