The Federal Government, on Thursday, said there was no timeframe for resumption of Emirates and Etihad flights that were put on hold amid the diplomatic row between Nigeria and the United Arabs Emirates (UAE).
After a meeting between President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his Nigerian counterpart, Sheik Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday in Abu Dhabi, Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential spokesman, had said both leaders reached a historic agreement, which resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travelers.
He added that both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines were to immediately resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria, “without any further delay”.
But the UAE authorities were silent on the visa ban lift and resumption of flights by its airlines, sparking curiosity among Nigerians.
In its statement, the Middle East country said Nigeria and the UAE would work together to reinforce their ties and explore opportunities for further bilateral collaborations.
But speaking speaking during the Aviation Africa Summit in Abuja on Thursday, Festus Keyamo, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, said the terms of agreements were being finalised.
He said: “So, we are beginning to work out all the tiny details. I have met with Emirate before I left UAE, and we are working out the details. We cannot say the time frame. Kicking off an airline operation again on a route, does not mean you will go and grab one empty plane sitting in a place.
“There is no idle plane sitting anywhere, they have to reschedule their flights and restart their routes again. All kinds of permission will be taken from local authorities and of course, I made the point in speaking with them and I made it clear that they will have to give our airlines reciprocal rights under our Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs).
“That is the point I insisted on, and they did say that any spot we need, they will give us as much as we give them those spots within Nigeria.”