Emirates Airlines has announced the suspension of its flight operations to Nigeria, starting September 1, 2022, over its $85 million revenue awaiting repatriation from Nigeria.
This was announced in a statement by the airline on Thursday, the airline stated that the suspension is due to its inability to repatriate its earnings in foreign exchange from Nigeria.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) flag carrier noted that the suspension will help in curtailing further losses and reduce the impact on its operational costs that continue to accumulate in the Nigerian market.
What the airline is saying
The statement reads “Emirates has taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights to and from Nigeria, effective 1 September 2022, to limit further losses and impact on our operational costs that continue to accumulate in the market.
“We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to our customers, however, the circumstances are beyond our control at this stage. We will be working to help impacted customers make alternative travel arrangements wherever possible.
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“Should there be any positive developments in the coming days regarding Emirates’ blocked funds in Nigeria, we remain keen to serve Nigeria, and our operations provide much-needed connectivity for Nigerian travellers, providing access to trade and tourism opportunities to Dubai, and to our broader network of over 130 destinations.”
What you should know
- Nairametrics had reported in March that Nigeria is currently holding $283 million worth of foreign airlines’ funds in the country, as at March 22, 2022. The funds are proceeds from sales of foreign airlines’ tickets among others that are trapped in Nigeria.
- The airline had written to the minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika on July 22, to help repatriate $85 million of its revenue.
- In the letter, Emirates Airlines said it will reduce the number of flights to Nigeria from August 15 due to its failure to repatriate its revenue from Nigeria.
- It said reducing the number of flights was to mitigate the continued losses it was experiencing as a result of its funds being blocked in Nigeria.
- The airline noted that it could not continue to operate at the current level in the face of mounting losses, especially in the challenging post-COVID-19 climate.
- The $85 million is the airline’s revenue awaiting repatriation from Nigeria at July 2022.