Emirates suspends Nigerian flights over blocked $85m funds

emirates suspends nigerian flights over blocked $85m funds
emirates suspends nigerian flights over blocked $85m funds

As of September 1, 2022, Emirates will no longer operate flights to and from Nigeria.

The airline’s inability to withdraw money from Nigeria played a role in the decision.

In a letter to Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, which was made public, the airline announced plans to cut back from 11 to 7 weekly flights within the country by mid-August due to the $85 million that has been stuck in the country.

With nearly $600 million in blocked funds belonging to foreign airlines that cannot be repatriated since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) could not meet airlines’ request for dollars, more airlines may follow suit.

Foreign airlines are required by BASAs to issue tickets in naira, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) providing the dollar equivalence for airlines to use when remitting funds back home.

On Thursday morning, Emirates issued a statement saying it will cease all flights to Nigeria, with the caveat that it could reconsider this decision if there were any improvement in the situation in the coming days.

The statement added, “Emirates has made great efforts to commence communication with the relevant authorities for their quick assistance to help find a viable solution to our ongoing issues in repatriating cash from Nigeria.”

“Unfortunately, no progress has been made. Therefore, to minimise future losses and impact on our operational costs that continue to accrue in the market, Emirates has taken the painful decision to halt all flights to and from Nigeria, starting 1 September 2022.

We apologise for the trouble this has caused our clients, but at this time there is nothing we can do about it.

When possible, we will assist affected customers in securing alternate transportation.

If the situation with Emirates’ frozen assets in Nigeria improves in the coming days, we will, of course, reevaluate our decision. We’re committed to keeping Nigeria in our network, and our services give Nigerians access to Dubai’s thriving commercial and tourist industries, as well as to the rest of our more than 130 worldwide destinations.

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