Emirates Airlines stated on Thursday that starting on September 1, 2022, it would stop operating flights into Nigeria.
It said the suspension became necessary following its inability to repatriate its funds from Nigeria.
International carriers operating in Nigeria have frequently griped 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.
The amount of these airlines’ blocked funds has increased to around $600 million as a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s reluctance to allow the carriers to repatriate US dollars.
In its statement on Thursday, Emirates Airlines stated 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.
“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.”
It however, noted that should there be any positive developments in the coming days regarding Emirates’ blocked funds in Nigeria, the airline would, of course, 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,” the global carrier stated.