The federal government claims that talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are ongoing to resolve the new diplomatic spat.
At a press conference in Abuja on Monday, Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation and acting chairman of the presidential steering committee (PSC) on COVID-19, stated this.
The UAE reportedly barred international airlines from flying Nigerians into the country on Monday.
Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and other airlines that connect transit flights from their hubs to Dubai have refused to board Nigerians as a result of this.
This incident is said to be linked to the recent diplomatic spat between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.
Air Peace requested three weekly flights from Nigeria to Sharjah Airport in the United Arab Emirates, but only one was approved.
The UAE’s GCAA blamed the airline for pulling out of Sharjah Airport and “so should not expect to retain its flight frequency there” — a claim Air Peace has denied.
In retaliation to the UAE’s treatment of Air Peace, the federal government dropped Emirate’s slots from 21 to just one, causing Emirates to pull out of the Nigerian route indefinitely.
Speaking at the briefing, Sirika said there are “huge signs” that the ongoing issues will be resolved soon.
“We have followed the normal diplomatic routes to continue to engage UAE. There are huge signs that we are getting to resolve this matter soon,” he said.
“We have a responsibility as a government to take certain decisions on behalf of people that are in accordance with the law and that will ensure that our citizens are treated fairly and equally and also enjoy mutual relationships.”
He insisted that the decision to reduce the number of frequencies of Emirates Airlines to Lagos and Abuja was in line with established ICAO protocols and the spirit of the BASA signed with the UAE.