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Lift Emirates suspension from Kano airport, Reps tell ministry

By Abubakar Haruna Muhammad -The Nigerian Voice, Kano
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Members of the House of Representatives yesterday passed a resolution calling on the aviation ministry to immediately lift passenger flight suspension imposed on Emirates Airlines on its Kano route three years ago.

The lawmakers, in a motion by Rep Aliyu Sani Madaki (APC, Kano), wondered why the same airline was allowed to fly cargo to Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, but its passenger flights were suspended by the ministry.

Rep Madaki had told the House that after the signing of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between the Nigerian government and the airline, the ministry ordered the suspension of flights for a short time, which is still in effect.

He said the decision, which was purely political had cost the airline unquantifiable losses, after already selling out tickets to passengers and opening of its office in the airport.

The House is concerned that the delay in lifting the suspension on passenger operations is causing untold hardships to passengers from Kano and other neighbouring states that fly Emirates Airlines to other parts of the world, he said.

House leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, said it was annoying that the country has lost a potential revenue of three years owing to the suspension, which, he said, shouldn’t be allowed to linger at this time of economic challenges.

Gbajabiamila explained that the operation of the airline to Kano goes beyond regional consideration, as it will add to the country’s revenue earnings after “short changing ourselves for three years.

A number of lawmakersunderscored the importance of a direct flight from Kano to Dubai, in view of the economic similarities between the two cities.

Consequently, speaker Yakubu Dogara, while referring the matter to aviation committee, issued a one week ultimatum for submission of the report back to the House.