Emirates Airlines says it will suspend its flight operations in Nigeria from September 1, 2022.
Emirates Airlines said on Thursday that the action became imperative following its inability to repatriate its funds from Nigeria.
International airlines operating in Nigeria have always made similar complaints of not being able to repatriate funds to their home countries.
The airlines are said to have raised the matter on many occasions with the officials of the Federal Ministry of Aviation and those at the Finance Ministry.
Blocked funds belonging to these airlines have risen to about $600m, as this is due to the inability of the Central Bank of Nigeria to make the United States dollar available for the carriers to repatriate.
Emirates Airlines stated in a statement on Thursday 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.
“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.”
But the airline stated that should there be any positive developments in the coming days regarding Emirates’ blocked funds in Nigeria, it would 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,” it added.