NANTA Reacts to Dubai Airport’s New COVID-19 Protocols
Posted by JUSTOURS
The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), the umbrella body of travel agents in the country, has frown at the latest COVID- 19 protocols from the Dubai Airport Authority requesting passengers from Nigeria to undergo a rapid response Covid- 19 Antigen Test before flight to Dubai.
Effective February 1, 2021, 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.
President of NANTA, Mrs. Susan Akporiaye said she is disturbed by the new development. She also expressed shock at the insistence that Nigerians travelling 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,” she said in a statement, recently.
Akporiaye pointed out that the Dubai Airport Authority ought to have shown its open hands in the effort to check the Coronavirus 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 the pandemic,” the NANTA boss 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 flouting and we crave for a better arrangements, possibly involving other stakeholders. In this pandemic situation, no man is an island”, Akporiaye also stated in the statement.
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