***Update: 06/22/21 @ 08:00 UTC – Emirates will not resume flights***
As of Monday this week, Emirates has updated that it will NOT be resuming flights to Nigeria or to South Africa. For Nigeria, flights are suspended ‘until further notice’ and for South Africa, they are suspended until July 6th.
For the latest travel advice head to Emirates’ notification page.
The information below was published in advance of the latest update and is now out of date.
On the weekend, Dubai authorities confirmed that entry requirements from Nigeria, South Africa, and India will be relaxed. As a result, Emirates has announced that it is resuming flights to these three countries on June 23rd.
Citizens from all three nations have prominent connections in the United Arab Emirates. Between January and June 2019, nearly one million people visited the country from India. Meanwhile, Dubai saw a 28% increase in visitors from Nigeria in the same year.
There is a significant population of nationals from these countries in the UAE. Notably, around 3.4 million Indians live here, along with up to 50,000 Nigerians and over 50,000 South Africans.
Despite these strong links, travel had been heavily restricted amid the conditions of the pandemic. However, with recent improvements in the virus climate, officials are relaxing measures for entry.
From this Wednesday, passengers from Nigeria can fly into Dubai following a PCR test taken at labs approved by Nigerian authorities 48 hours before departure. They also have to take another PCR test on arrival in Dubai.
Those flying in from South Africa also have to follow the same testing requirements and will have to be fully vaccinated by either the Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V, Oxford-AstraZeneca, or Sinopharm vaccines.
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Along with following vaccination requirements, travelers from India must have a valid residence visa and will have to also undergo “institutional quarantine” until they receive their PCR on arrival result. However, there is an exception for UAE nationals.
Emirates has expressed that it is keen to facilitate flights from the three nations. It is also looking forward to assisting different passenger segments.
“We will resume carrying passengers from South Africa, Nigeria and India in accordance with these protocols from 23rd June,” Emirates shared in a statement, as reported by Gulf Today.
“We thank the Supreme Committee for their continuous efforts in monitoring the development of the situation and announcing the appropriate guidelines and protocols to protect the community and safeguard travel sector.”
Despite the progress in two key African markets, the news isn’t so optimistic across the continent. The UAE has suspended the entry of passengers from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Namibia. This suspension took effect today.
Nonetheless, thousands of travelers will welcome the update by Dubai and Emirates from the weekend. Along with the abundance of residents and visitors that will be looking to fly with the airline to the destination, Dubai is also a crucial connecting spot across the continents. Therefore, smoother travel will undoubtedly be enabled with this move.
Emirates will also be glad that it is ramping up more services. The carrier is already operating 90% of its pre-pandemic network, so it has great momentum going this summer.
Amid the prospects this year, Dubai International’s Terminal 1’s Concourse D will reopen this Thursday. The facilities were shut down at the end of March last year amid the global health crisis. Now, Dubai Airports’ management feels that there will be a swarm of visitors in the coming period.
Simple Flying reached out to Emirates for further comment on the resuming flights. We will update the article with any additional announcements from the airline.
What are your thoughts about Emirates resuming several flights following recent updates? Are you looking to fly with the carrier this summer? Let us know what you think of the plans in the comment section.