Two years after halting its flights to Nigeria, Emirates Airlines has announced that it will resume flight services to the country starting October 1, 2024. This significant development, publicized by Emirates Media Centre, marks a positive turn for both the airline and its customers, providing much-anticipated connectivity between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

From October 1, 2024, Emirates will operate a daily service between Lagos and Dubai, offering passengers from Nigeria’s largest city more travel options and greater connectivity. The flights will be operated using the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, known for its spacious and comfortable seating across different classes. The outbound flight EK783 will depart Dubai at 09:45 AM and arrive in Lagos at 3:20 PM. The return flight EK784 will leave Lagos at 5:30 PM and arrive in Dubai at 5:10 AM the next day. Tickets for these flights are now available for booking on the Emirates website and through travel agents.

Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer, expressed the airline’s excitement about resuming services to Nigeria. He highlighted the historical popularity of the Lagos-Dubai route among Nigerian customers, which has been a significant connection for both leisure and business travelers. Kazim also acknowledged the partnership and support from the Nigerian government in re-establishing this vital route and looked forward to welcoming passengers back onboard.

The resumption of flights to Nigeria expands Emirates’ presence in Africa, bringing the total number of gateways on the continent to 19. The airline will operate 157 flights per week from Dubai to these African destinations. Emirates’ extensive network is further increased by codeshare and interline agreements with other airlines, such as South African Airways, Airlink, Royal Air Maroc, and Tunis Air. These partnerships enhance connectivity by providing access to an additional 130 regional points within Africa.

Nigeria, as a major economic hub in Africa, has developed strong bilateral trade relations with the UAE. Lagos, being the commercial center of Nigeria, plays an important role in this relationship. The resumption of daily passenger flights by Emirates is expected to strengthen these ties significantly. Emirates SkyCargo, the airline’s cargo division, will provide over 300 tonnes of bellyhold cargo capacity in and out of Lagos each week, supporting trade between the two nations.

Emirates SkyCargo will be a crucial player in enhancing trade relations by exporting Nigerian goods to key markets such as the UAE, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Bahrain. Anticipated commodities include Kola Nuts, food and beverages, and urgent courier materials. Also, Emirates SkyCargo will import essential goods into Nigeria, such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, and general cargo from key markets including the UAE, India, and Hong Kong. The airline’s state-of-the-art hub in Dubai ensures that these goods are transported quickly, efficiently, and reliably, maintaining a seamless flow of trade.

The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which will serve the Lagos route, is configured to cater to various passenger needs with its 8 First Class suites, 42 Business Class seats, and 304 Economy Class seats. This configuration ensures a comfortable and luxurious travel experience across all classes, reaffirming Emirates’ commitment to high-quality service.

Emirates suspended its flights to Nigeria indefinitely on October 29, 2022. The suspension was due to issues related to trapped funds and the Nigerian government’s inability to make US dollars available to foreign carriers, preventing them from repatriating their revenues. This financial bottleneck caused a significant disruption in services and strained diplomatic relations between the two countries.