Emirates Airlines has declared that it will no longer operate flights to Nigeria from September 1, 2022, over blocked funds.
This was revealed on Thursday, August 18, in a statement by the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which cited its inability to repatriate its foreign exchange revenues from Nigeria.
Over 20 foreign airlines worth at least $600 million have had their flights to Nigeria barred since the year began.
Emirates had stated two weeks prior that around $85 million of this cash were in Nigeria.
Emirates has requested Nigeria’s minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika, to help with the repatriation of its $85 million in earnings.
The airline had reduced its 11 weekly frequencies into Lagos Airport to 7 as of Monday, August 15.
The airline said the suspension would “limit further losses and reduce the impact on its operational costs that continue to accumulate in the Nigerian market”.
Emirates Airlines said in a statement: “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 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 to our broader network of over 130 destinations.”