Emirates Airline, the national carrier of United Arab Emirates (UAE), has responded to the criticism directed at its operation in Nigeria by domestic airline companies.
Emirates Airline went defensive in its response to government waivers and gave reasons for its additional flights.
The airline had come under fire over a sudden increase in its flight operation from Lagos and Abuja to Dubai.
However, the international airline has stated that the picture painted by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) was no where near the truth.
The Chairman of AON, Nogie Meggisson, asserted that the addition had increased the flights of Emirates Airline in Nigeria to four daily through Lagos and Abuja. This, according to him, leaves domestic operators at a disadvantage. He also said the addition would affect the nation’s economy.
Emirates Airline was accused of Nigeria’s taking advantage just like it did to the airline operators from the United States.
Meggisson said the additional flight added to Emirates Airline’s schedule came a few days after the domestic operator, Air Peace, was announced as Nigeria’s flag carrier to the UAE.
Emirates defends addition: The UAE Carrier defended the decision to increase its flights, saying it was done to cater for the transportation needs of travellers during Hajj period.
“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 operator said.
Reacting to Meggisson’s allegation of receiving special treatment from the Nigerian government, Emirates Airline said the assertion was a myth.
“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.