Ethiopian Airlines is one of the leading flight operator companies in Africa. It serves different countries and connects many routes in and out of Africa including the Entebbe – Dubai via Addis Ababa.
The new directive by UAE is affecting its flight operations to Dubai. It requires all passengers from Uganda to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test issued 48 hours and 6 hours to time of departure. This is not possible for connecting flights as most travelers reach the airport when some certificates have expired.
The 6-hour test must be done by one of the trusted laboratories at EBB. Sources indicate that on Monday Ethiopian Airlines transported nine passengers from Entebbe who arrived in Dubai with expired certificates. UAE directed the airline company to return these passengers to EBB airport.
After this incident, the responsible authorities decided to bar Ethiopia’s national carrier from flying Ugandan travelers to the United Arab Emirates. The main reason was the failure to comply with the new measures.
Meseret Tstgay the country manager denied the allegations. She however confirms that UAE stopped Ethiopian Airlines from flying to Dubai for other reasons. Tstgay says the airline has applied for approval from the Civil Aviation Authority to resume flights. Below is the statement.
“We received the communication from UAE at midday and yet 15 passengers going to Dubai had already boarded our 2:45 pm flight for that day,” Tstgay explains, “So we engaged Emirates and they flew our passengers on the same day.”
The airline advises passengers who pre-booked flights to reschedule them because there are still having talks with UAE authorities over the travel requirements.
Different tour operators who offer trips abroad have advised their customers to book only with companies that offer direct flights to Dubai. The list includes fly Dubai and Fly emirates. It is now risky to have connecting flights to UAE
If not that operators like Kenya Airways are advising their passengers to test again at their connecting points like Nairobi before departing for Dubai. It is now useless to do the 6-hour test at Entebbe airport yet there is another stopover at an airport in Nairobi.