The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reportedly conceded seven slots to Air Peace in what appears to be a move to avert diplomatic row.
The Nation reported that the Nigerian carrier was given a permit to fly directly to Dubai instead of Sharjah Airport. This was reportedly conveyed in a letter addressed to Air Peace and dated 13th December, 2021.
Although the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not copied in breach of protocol, the publication reported that Federal Government also received the letter.
A source said;
“In the letter, the UAE said Air Peace can fly directly to Dubai and not Sharjah Airport. This is the latest on the development.
“Even though they did not follow the right diplomatic channel by writing the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs which will in turn inform the Aviation Minister, this is still a positive development.”
When asked if the UAE has stopped other carriers from conveying Nigerians to Dubai, the source said:
“This is in the realm of rumours. I don’t think it is true. No official communication banning Nigerians from entering Dubai through other carriers. If anybody has such a directive, let him or her produce it. It will be in gross violation of international civil aviation regulations.
“The Federal Government got no such information at the diplomatic or official level. I think with the latest concessions, the UAE was trying to avoid a diplomatic row with Nigeria. We also do not want any row with the UAE.”
This is coming after the 21 weekly flight frequency given to Emirates Airline was withdrawn by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
The federal government instead gave Emirates airline one weekly slot in Abuja, following the refusal of Sharjah Airport Authorities and General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the UAE to give Air Peace the three slots it requested.