Airline operators had decried the recent starting of two flights a day by Emirates from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.
The Airline Operators of Nigeria stated during Air Peace’s inaugural flight that it had appealed to the Federal Government to engage more in aero-politics to support the carrier otherwise it would end up the same way as others such as Bellview, Arik Air and Medview that went before it.
The group said the Federal Government should review all existing Bilateral Air Services Agreement to address the unfair trade advantage given to foreign airlines against Nigerian airlines.
The AON in a statement by its Chairman, Capt. Nogie Meggison, said it would go a long way to safeguard the Nigerian economy from continued plundering of resources and preserve the livelihood of workers in the aviation sector.
But the UAE carrier, Emirates, on Monday said its daily flights had not been increased by the Federal Government.
The airline said the extra flights being operated from Lagos and Abuja to Dubai were for the short period of Hajj.
This is in response to the Airline Operators of Nigeria who accused the Federal Government of creating unfair competition for domestic operators.
Emirates, however, said in a statement that the increased flight was only to meet Hajj demands between July 27 and August 22.
The statement read in part, “Emirates would like to clarify that we have not increased scheduled flight services to Abuja or Lagos. We had only operated extra flights to Abuja and Lagos for a very limited period, for the sole purpose of serving Nigerian pilgrims travelling to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Hajj.”
The airline said the allegation that it was receiving government subsidies and therefore represented unfair competition was also not true.
“We have repeatedly debunked these myths over the years. Our audited financial reports for the past 20 years are published on our website for anyone to inspect,” it added.
According to the airline, international carriers operating in Nigeria are crucial in supporting the country’s tourism and trade.

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