The United Arab Emirates, UAE, flag carrier, Emirates Airlines, following the complaints over trapped funds in Nigeria, has announced that effective September 1st, 2022, it would halt flight operations going in and out of Nigeria.
It had been gathered that at the last count, the airline had $85 million trapped within Nigeria despite measures to reach the Federal Government in an attempt to recover the funds.
At least, $600 million in cash from more than 20 foreign airlines has been blocked in Nigeria since the beginning of 2022. Previously, the airline had reduced its flight operations to Nigeria in July as a means of curbing its business in Nigeria.
Hadi Sirika, in a letter given to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the airline had stated that it cut its eleven weekly frequencies into Lagos Airport to just seven after indicating it would do so.
However, Emirates, in a statement on Thursday morning, noted that it would suspend flights from Nigeria effective September 1.
Below is the statement from the Airline:
“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 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.
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 travelers, providing access to trade and tourism opportunities to Dubai and our broader network of over 130 destinations.”