Emirates Airline has refuted allegations that it increased scheduled flight services to Abuja or Lagos.
The airline said that the report by Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), that granting of additional frequency to Emirates was not necessary at this time as statistics show that half of the flights out of Abuja are half empty and the fact that the Emirate Airline already have an unfair trade advantage of 150 flights monthly out of Nigeria as against 12 monthly flights for Nigerian airlines.
Chairman of AON, Capt. Noggie Meggison had earlier called on the Federal Government to review all existing Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA) to readdress the unfair trade advantage given to foreign airlines against Nigerian airlines.
The airline body described it as unfair for Emirates to be allowed such increase barely two weeks after the launch of flights on July 5, 2019 of Air Peace to Sharjah, UAE by Air Peace.
In a statement the management of Emirates denied AON’s position saying, “We only operated extra flights to Abuja and Lagos for a very limited period, for the sole purpose of serving Nigerian pilgrims traveling to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Hajj”.
“Some detractors like to claim that Emirates receives government subsidies and therefore represent unfair competition. But these allegations are patently false, and we have repeatedly debunked these myths over the years”.
The carrier disclosed that its audited financial reports for the past 20 years are published on our website for anyone to inspect, stressing that Emirates has always been run on a commercial basis.
“In fact our success is driven by the very fact that we must stand on our own feet – which means we must keep winning over customers with the best possible services, while closely watching our costs so that we can return a profit to our shareholder”.
It further stated that international carriers operating in Nigeria offer a greater choice for consumers, and are also crucial to supporting Nigerian tourism and trade.
“Emirates first started operations to Lagos in 2004, and we have since remained committed to Nigeria. During this time, we have helped facilitate trade between Nigeria and other international markets, and provided travellers coming into, or travelling from, Nigeria the option of enjoying the award-winning Emirates experience”.
We look forward to continue serving our customers in Nigeria, and to working with stakeholders to support the progressive development of tourism and trade.”