Emirates Airlines has announced that it is suspending all its flights to and from Nigeria starting September 1, 2022 over lack of progress in the airline’s efforts to repatriate its trapped ticket sales fund in Nigeria.
The airline disclosed the suspension of flights in a statement on Thursday morning.
Two weeks ago, the airline said that it has $85 million out of over $600 million belonging to foreign airlines that has been blocked in Nigeria since the beginning of the year.
The airline had on Monday cut its 11 weekly frequencies into Lagos Airport to just seven.
The said it will “re-evaluate” its decision “should there be any positive developments in the coming days regarding Emirates’ blocked funds in Nigeria,”
In a statement issued by the airline and made available to journalists Thursday morning, the airline said: “Emirates 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.
“Regrettably there has been no progress. Therefore, 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.
“Should there be any positive developments in the coming days regarding Emirates’ blocked funds in Nigeria, we will of course re-evaluate our 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.”
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.