The United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities have imposed new travel protocols on Nigerian travelers following the wake of the second wave of COVID-19.
According to the new protocols only direct flights originating from Nigeria are now allowed to fly directly into the UAE.
By implication, transit flights with Nigerians on board are not allowed to fly into the UAE.
Also, the new protocols have barred other airlines from airlifting Nigerians to Dubai.
The UAE government in the Travel Protocol Update issued by Dubai Airports said: “Passengers must travel directly from Nigeria to Dubai. No passengers must enter Nigeria to Dubai from any other country/station if they have visited or transited via Nigeria in the last 14 days.”
This adds to other COVID-19 protocols like certificate of negative test and that passengers also are required to carry out a rapid COVID-19 test and get a negative result within four hours of their departure time.
These protocols have unsettled travel agents and passengers that have booked other airlines for the highly profitable Dubai route.
Also, other airlines like Ethiopian Air, Egypt Air, Qatar who operate transit flights to Dubai from their countries may not be able to airlift Nigerian passengers and leave the market to only Emirates Airlines.
Meanwhile, other airlines have adviced their trade partners on the latest development emanating from Dubai.
In a memo to its trade partners, Egypt Air wrote: “Sequel to the memo we received from Dubai Airport Authority asking all Nigeria travelers coming to Dubai to fly directly effective February 1, 2021”.
“In view of this we, therefore request you to kindly notify our esteemed passengers that Egypt Air will not lift passengers from Nigeria to Dubai from January 31, 2021 until further notice. You are hereby advised to check & cancel all your bookings & inform your passengers this new development”
“We are in view of the above expressly authorising full refund for those who want to make refund and seek for alternative or tickets will be opened for future flights for passengers needing to keep their tickets. We thank you for all the trust you reposed on our carrier & promised to update you if any further development on this in the nearest future.”