Emirates Airlines announced on Thursday the suspension of its flight operations in Nigeria from September 1, 2022.
The suspension was inevitable because the airline was unable to return its funds from Nigeria.
International carriers operating in Nigeria have complained bitterly about not being able to transfer money back to their home nations. They have brought up this issue repeatedly with representatives from the Finance Ministry and the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
Blocked cash belonging to these airlines have increased to around $600 million; due to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s refusal to allow the carriers to transfer US dollars.
Emirates Airlines said 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.”
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.
Read more: Emirates slashes flights to Nigeria over inability to repatriate $85m as FX crunch bites harder
“We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to our customers; however, the circumstances are beyond our control at this stage. We will also be working to help impacted customers make alternative travel arrangements wherever possible.”
The airline would, of course, reevaluate its choice if there were any favourable developments regarding Emirates’ blocked money in Nigeria in the upcoming days.
“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.