Emirates Airlines to suspend flights to Nigeria from September

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Emirates Airlines announced on Thursday that it will cease operations in Nigeria on September 1, 2022.

It stated that the suspension was necessary due to its inability to repatriate funds from Nigeria.

International carriers operating in Nigeria have repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with their inability to remit funds to their home countries.

They have raised this concern with officials from the Federal Ministry of Aviation as well as the Finance Ministry on numerous occasions.

Blocked funds belonging to these airlines have risen to around $600 million as a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s inability to make US dollars available for repatriation.

In its statement on Thursday, Emirates Airlines stated that it “has tried every avenue to address our ongoing challenges in repatriating funds from Nigeria, and we have made considerable efforts to initiate dialogue with the relevant authorities for their urgent intervention to help find a viable solution.”

It added, “Regrettably there has been no progress. Therefore, Emirates has taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights to and from Nigeria, effective September 1, 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.”

It, however, noted that should there be any positive developments in the coming days regarding Emirates’ blocked funds in Nigeria, the airline would, of course, re-evaluate its decision.

“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,” the global carrier stated.