Nigeria: Emirates Resumes Flight to Nigeria October 1

17 May 2024

Two years after it suspended operations to Nigeria, the Middle East Mega Carrier, Emirates Airlines has announced that it would resume flight services to Nigeria from October 1, 2024. This was announced by Emirates Media Centre, the news website of the airline.

The airline stated: "Emirates will resume services to Nigeria from October 1, 2024, operating a daily service between Lagos and Dubai, and offering customers more choice and connectivity from Nigeria's largest city to, and through, Dubai.

"The service will be operated using a Boeing 777-300ER. EK783 will depart Dubai at 0945hrs, arriving in Lagos at 1520hrs; the return flight EK784 will leave Lagos at 1730hrs and arrives in Dubai at 0510hrs the next day. Tickets can be booked now on or via travel agents.

Adnan Kazim, Emirates' Deputy President and Chief Commercial Officer expressed delight over the new development, stressing that the airline was excited to reconnect travellers.

"We are excited to resume our services to Nigeria. The Lagos-Dubai service has traditionally been popular with customers in Nigeria and we hope to reconnect leisure and business travellers to Dubai and onwards to our 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."

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 bellyhold cargo capacity, in and out of Lagos every week.

Emirates SkyCargo will 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 will also 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 will be transported quickly, efficiently, and reliably via the airline's multi-vertical specialized product portfolio.

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

Offering the best experience in the sky, Emirates said its 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.

"Customers can tune in to over 6,500 channels of global entertainment, including 23 Nigerian movies, in addition to series and other content on ice, Emirates' award-winning inflight entertainment system," it added.

Emirates stopped its operations to Nigeria indefinitely on October 29, 2022, and gave reason that it stopped flights to the country because of its trapped funds and over the failure of government to make dollars available to the foreign carriers to repatriate their revenues.

With the resumption of Emirates flights to Nigeria, the UAE and Nigeria would resume their diplomatic relations and Nigerians can now obtain visa to travel to the Middle East country.

Also in a tweet, the airline wrote: "We're back Nigeria! We'll be resuming services to Lagos from 1 October 2024, and we can't wait to offer unrivalled connectivity to Dubai and beyond to over 140 cities."

Earlier, Nigeria's Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo (SAN) hinted about the development on his X handle.

In his post, he revealed that he met with the Ambassador of the UAE to Nigeria, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, in Abuja on Tuesday, explaining that during the meeting, Al-Shamsi handed him a correspondence from Emirates Airlines confirming the flight resumption date.

The Minister wrote: "Yesterday (Tuesday), I paid a working visit to the Ambassador of the UAE to Nigeria, His Excellency, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi at the UAE Embassy in Abuja.

"He handed me a correspondence from the Emirates Airline indicating a definite date of their resumption of flights to Nigeria. That date will be formally announced by Emirates Airlines in a matter of days."

The two countries have faced longstanding issues related to the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA). More recently, visa restrictions had compounded the situation, affecting many Nigerians who consider the UAE a top destination.

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