Emirates Airline has announced plans to stop flights operations in and out of Nigeria effective from September 1.
This comes after the United Arab Emirates UAE bemoaned ‘trapped funds’ in Nigeria.
As contained in a letter to Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the airline cut its 11 weekly frequencies into Lagos Airport to just seven after indicating it would do so.
Emirates in a statement on Thursday morning, however, commented that it would cancel flights from Nigeria effective September 1, 2022.
The airline’s statement reads: ”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 travellers, providing access to trade and tourism opportunities to Dubai and to our broader network of over 130 destinations.”
Despite measures to reach the Federal Government in a bid to repatriate the funds, emirates airline had $85 million trapped within Nigeria.
About $600 million of over 20 foreign airlines has been blocked in Nigeria since January, 2022.
Nexus News recalls that emirates airline lessened it flight operations to Nigeria last month as a means of managing it business in the country.