International carrier, Emirates Airlines, has announced decision to suspend all flights from Nigeria, effective from 1st September, 2022.
In an official statement issued Thursday, the airline stated that, “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 1 September, 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”, the airline stated.
Earlier in July, Emirates had lamented that due to its inability to repatriate its blocked funds from Nigeria, it was planning to cut its operations from Dubai to Lagos from 11 per week to 7 per week, which was to start August 15th, 2022.
Emirates is one of two flag carriers of the United Arab Emirates. The other being Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways.
The International airline plan then was contained in a letter, signed by Sheikh Majid Mualla, DSVP International Affairs, addressed to the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Federal Ministry of Aviation, dated July 22, 2022.
According to Emirates, “As of July, 2022, Emirates has US$85 million of funds awaiting repatriation from Nigeria.