NANTA Expresses Shock Over Dubai Airport Authority COVID -19 Protocols
...Asks Aviation Minister To Intervene
President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mrs Susan Akporiaye said that association is disturbed by the latest COVID-19 protocols from the Dubai Airport Authority, requesting that Nigerian passengers to undergo a rapid response COVID-19 antigen test before departure to Dubai.
This is just as she called on the Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika to intervene in the matter and interrogate the development.
She also expressed shock at the insistence that Nigerians bound to Dubai must fly only Emirates airlines, foreclosing and boxing out transit routes opportunities into Dubai from other carriers.
“We are studying the situation and consulting widely as the new travel restrictions may put additional financial pressures on Nigerian passengers and also create a monopolistic hold on the route. Indeed, we don’t know what is going on in the minds of other countries and their airlines, a situation that may trigger off retaliatory actions,” NANTA President explained.
She further stated that the Dubai Airport Authority should have shown its open hands in the effort to check the COVID-19 pandemic by requesting other carriers and their home governments to set up rapid response antigen test at their various airports to enable passengers on transit to undergo tests before flying into Dubai.
” We at NANTA believe that such gestures and arrangements will enhance the credibility of the additional COVID -19 protocols into Dubai and also encourage others in travel business to recover and contribute to building a global coalition against the impact of COVID,” NANTA added.
Though the industry is polarised by the Dubai initiative, including the banning of transit passengers from other airlines to Dubai, the fear of under hand competition targeting other carriers by Emirates is gaining ground and causing pallable apprehension among travel trade operators and Nigerian travel community.
” We are worried and call on the minister of Aviation to help intervene and interrogate this development. We appreciate the efforts of governments and airlines to help secure the lives of passengers and also protect their citizens which NANTA supports in all ramifications but this additional requirement from Dubai airport Authority and Emirates is far floung and we crave for a better arrangements, possibly involving other stakeholders. In this pandemic situation, no man is an island,” Akporiaye further said
Effective February first, the Dubai airport Authority will close its facilities to others airlines, flying passengers from Nigeria except they fly Emirates airlines.
The rapid response antigen test can only be done in Lagos and Abuja with Dubai bound passengers from the two Nigerian cities, paying 36, 800 naira and 25, 800 naira respectively, in addition to the PCR test from approved laboratories by Nigerian Center for Disease Control ( NCDC) and the Presidential Task force.