Emirates Airline Announces Suspension of All Flights From Nigeria Sept 1, Blames CBN

Emirates Airline Announces Suspension of All Flights From Nigeria Sept 1, Blames CBN

  • Nigerians looking to travel to Dubai will have to look for other alternatives as Emirates airline has decided to suspend its flights to Nigeria
  • The decision follows the airline's struggle to take back home its revenues stuck in Nigerian banks
  • The airline claims that it has over $85 million of its funds trapped in Nigeria and can no longer continue its services

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier, Emirates Airlines, has announced it will be suspending all its flight operations to Nigeria, starting September 1, 2022.

Emirates disclosed this in a statement on Thursday, 18 August citing the inability to repatriate its earnings in foreign exchange from Nigeria.

Last month, Emirates asked Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, to support the repatriation of its revenue, amounting to $85 million.

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Emirate airline suspends flights to Nigeria
Emirates Airlines Airbus A380 lands at Heathrow Airport Credit:NurPhoto
Source: Getty Images

Nigeria is facing a forex exchange crisis, which has also affected the nation’s local currency — Naira — to depreciate against the dollar.

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This will be the second time within a week that a major international carrier has taken a vital decision over the forex crisis.

Legit.ng had earlier reported that a South African airline announced it will no longer accept Naira for some of its passengers.

According to the airline, the suspension would limit further losses and reduce the impact on its operational costs that continue to accumulate in the Nigerian market, Dailytrust reports.

Part of the statement reads:

“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.

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“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."

According to ThisDay, Emirate airline assured of a change in its decision should there be any positive developments regarding Emirates’ blocked funds in Nigeria in the coming days.

It added:

"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."

CBN can't find enough dollars

Legit.ng reported that Foreign airlines operating in Nigeria are struggling to repatriate their dollar dividends and are stuck with naira they don’t need.

The idle cash lying in the Nigerian accounts of over 30 airlines is now a source of worry.

The trapped money rose from $147 million (N61 billion) as of August 2021 and has nearly doubled, reaching $283m (about N117.6bn).

Source: Legit.ng

Dave Ibemere avatar

Dave Ibemere (Senior Business Editor) Dave Ibemere is a senior business editor at Legit.ng. He is a financial journalist with over a decade of experience in print and online media. He also holds a Master's degree from the University of Lagos. He is a member of the African Academy for Open-Source Investigation (AAOSI), the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and other media think tank groups. He previously worked with The Guardian, BusinessDay, and headed the business desk at Ripples Nigeria. Email: dave.ibemere@corp.legit.ng.

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