The notice by Dubai Airports came after United Kingdom blocked passengers from Dubai from entering UK on the 29th of January as part of measures to curb the spread of the raging coronavirus disease.
The regulations restricted Nigerian passengers from transiting through other airports.
The notice was titled, ‘Dubai Travel Protocol Update –Travel from Nigeria’.
It read, “Kindly be advised that effective from 01 February 2021, the following conditions must be met for travel from Nigeria: All passengers are required to obtain a negative COVID-19 certificate. The PCR should be conducted within 72 hours of the date of departure.
“All passengers are required to conduct a rapid COVID-19 test and obtain a negative result within four hours of their departure time. Passengers must travel directly from Nigeria to Dubai. No passenger may enter Dubai from any other country/station if they have visited or transited from Nigeria in the last 14 days.”
The implication of the move is that other airlines won’t be able to commute Nigerian passengers aside Emirates Airlines which has its major hub at the Dubai International Airport. Especially Nigeria’s Air Peace which fly into Sharjah, UAE from Nigeria but not directly to Dubai.
Travel experts on Nigerianflightdeck forum seem to think the development would increase the cost of travel, and are of the opinion that Nigeria should reciprocate this action as the UAE is intentionally creating a monopoly for Emirates Airline.
Stakeholders like, Group Captain John Ojikutu retired asked for a reduction of the multiple designation for airline in Nigeria or reduce flight frequency daily or weekly.
He said,” This Dubai thing is not different from what some of us advised earlier last year at the onset of the COVID-19 lockdown that entry to Nigeria should be restricted to Lagos and Abuja; so why do we think what the UAE is doing is abnormal?
However, currently only two airports in Nigeria are open, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA)