The diplomatic row between Nigeria and United Arab Emirates (UAE) assumed a new dimension on Monday as the Arab nation has reportedly barred other airlines from conveying Nigerian passengers to the country.
Ever since the row with Emirates Airline started nine months ago, Nigerians heading to the country have been using other airlines.
Daily Trust reported that many Nigerian passengers who boarded Ethiopian Airlines heading to Dubai on Monday were ejected from the plane.
According to the medium, the incident happened hours after the restrictions imposed on Emirates by the Federal Government came into effect.
The Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had withdrawn the winter schedule earlier approved for Emirates to operate 21 weekly flights to Nigeria.
The government instead gave Emirates one weekly slot in Abuja, the nation’s capital, in a reciprocity measure after the Sharjah Airport Authorities reportedly denied Air Peace the three slots it requested.
Following the development, Emirates had suspended all its flights to Nigeria pending the resolution of the issues between Nigeria and UAE.
But the situation worsened after Dubai-bound passengers using other airlines were reportedly barred.
The medium quoted a source as saying the de-boarding of Nigerian passengers was on the order of the UAE authorities.
“UAE says no entry for Nigerian passengers from any airline. Ethiopian just offloaded all passengers heading to Dubai. We are voiding Dubai bound tickets,” the source said.
However, there has been no official communication from the UAE authorities on the latest development.
Earlier, there were reports that many Nigerians were stranded at Airports over the Emirates logjam.