UAE Backs down, Gives Air Peace Flight Slots to Dubai

December 14, 2021
5 Views

Chinedu Eze

The diplomatic crisis between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over flight operations may be coming to end as the Dubai Civil Aviation Authorities Airport (DXB) has given Air Peace weekly flight slots to Dubai.

The Federal Government had last Thursday stopped Emirates 20 frequencies a week and left the airline with only one flight to Abuja in response to UAE allocating only one flight a week to Air Peace, a Nigerian carrier.

But in the letter written by Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), dated December 13, 2021 and addressed to the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, titled, ‘Operation of Air Service between Dubai and Nigeria’, DCAA said in order to maintain good relations between the two countries it had offered to block some slots for the Nigerian carrier.

The letter, which was signed by DCAA Director General, Mohammed Ahli, stated, “The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority presents its compliments to the honourable management of Air Peace, Nigeria.

“Your Excellency, relations between our two countries go a long way back and we value these relations immensely. We surely wish to facilitate easy and safe travel for the people, between our two brotherly countries.

“We write in reference to Air Peace’s possible/intended operations to/from Dubai Airport (DXB)-Terminal 1 and as a gesture of goodwill and in support of UAE and Nigeria relations, in case Air Peace wishes to start flights, slots have been blocked by Dubai Airports as detailed below:

“Slots available and blocked for Air Peace are the following: A0540LT D0800LT-All days and A0510LT D0800LT- without day 6.”

The letter said that as these slots cannot be blocked indefinitely, we would highly appreciate if Air Peace could kindly reach out to Dubai Airports-ACL and inform them of their intentions to operate by Thursday December 16, 2021 and accordingly confirm the blocked slots.

“Dubai airport has also confirmed that dnata-the ground handling agents at DXB have sent the ground handling quotation to Ms. Reham Mustafa-Country Manager and also, Emirates Flight Catering is working on the quotation and should send it out latest by tomorrow morning.

“For landing permissions, they could contact our Air Transport Section as detailed below: Landing Permission: air.transport@dcaa.gov.aer.”

The letter expressed hope and added, “Dubai Civil Aviation Authority avails otself of the opportunity to renew to the honourable management of Air Peace, the assurances of its highest consideration and reiterates its support at all times.’

Although THISDAY could not confirm the total number of flight slots granted to Air Peace, a Nigerian operator who has serviced the Dubai route told THISDAY that the letter indicates Air Peace had been given 13 slots, which means they could operate twice daily, except on Friday.

“The best they can do is to go everyday and they will need two aircraft. The landing charges and the other charges are high at that airport,” the operator said.

Air Peace source confirmed to THISDAY that it had received the letter.

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