As the diplomatic spat between the two countries worsens, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned all airlines from transporting Nigerian travelers to the country.
Egypt Air, Air France, KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, Rwanda Air, and Etihad are among these airlines.
Many Nigerian passengers on Ethiopian Airlines bound for Dubai were escorted off the plane on Monday.
The incident occurred just hours after the Federal Government imposed limitations on Emirates, according to the Daily Trust.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Director-General has canceled the winter schedule that had been approved for Emirates to fly 21 weekly flights to Nigeria.
After the Sharjah Airport Authorities reportedly rejected Air Peace the three slots it wanted, the government instead handed Emirates one weekly slot in Abuja, the nation’s capital, as a tit-for-tat measure.
Following this occurrence, Emirates halted all flights to Nigeria until the difficulties between Nigeria and the UAE were resolved.
However, things became worse once passengers flying to Dubai on other airlines were reportedly prohibited.
The deboarding of Nigerian passengers was ordered by UAE authorities, according to a source who spoke to Daily Trust.
“No entrance for Nigerian travellers from any airline, according to the UAE.” Ethiopian Airlines has just completed the offloading of all passengers bound for Dubai. The insider stated, “We are voiding Dubai bound tickets.”
The UAE authorities have yet to issue an official statement on the recent development.
The Daily Trust had previously reported on the number of Nigerian passengers stranded due to the Emirates gridlock.
A traveler who was scheduled to fly on an Emirates flight on Monday had to look for another airline and ended up paying over N500,000 to fly with Lufthansa.
Businessmen, students, and others alleged to be traveling for medical reasons are among those stranded.
“I had to book another flight on Lufthansa travelling through Brazil just to connect Dubai because the various restrictions across the world have made travel very difficult for everybody because you have to travel via a destination, not on the red list.”
“But I must be in Dubai by all means and that has cost me an extra N500,000. How many people can afford this,” a student who preferred anonymity, said.
The Vice-President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Abuja Zone, Ambassador Adeshola Kayode, lamented that millions of naira have been lost and businesses affected as a result of the current imbroglio.
“We have lost millions, clients have started requesting refunds and some of these tickets are not refundable and for those that have refunds, it will take time to process,” he said.