- Several Nigerians planning to take a trip to the United Arab Emirates are in for the shock of their lives
- This is because the UAE has suspended its national carrier, Emirates Airlines from taking trips in Nigeria
- The decision by the airline and UAE authorities comes barely one week after the government of the Arab country suspended visa issuance to Nigerian nationals
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier, Emirates, on Thursday, November 3, suspended its flights to Nigeria indefinitely, over issues relating to its trapped funds in the country.
The money, Legit.ng gathered was aimed at clearing part of the blocked funds belonging to foreign airlines operating across the country.
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The airline had earlier suspended its flight operations on September 1, but reinstated it after the apex bank announced a release of $260 million to clear part of the funds estimated to be over $700 million.
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However, in its reaction, Emirates Airline said it is yet to receive the money as assured by the CBN thereby leading to the suspension of its flight to and from Nigeria.
The action by Emirates Airlines comes barely one week after the government of the United Arab Emirates suspended visa issuance to Nigerians visiting Dubai,
It was gathered that this has also contributed to the reduction of the load factors of Emirates Airlines.
The Airline said:
“However, Emirates has yet to receive an allocation of our blocked funds to be repatriated. Without the timely repatriation of the funds and a mechanism in place to ensure that future repatriation of Emirates’ funds does not accumulate in any way, the backlog will continue to grow, and we simply cannot meet our operational costs nor maintain the commercial viability of our operations in Nigeria.
“We have officially communicated our position and attended multiple hearings with the Nigerian government, and we have made our proposed approach clear to alleviate this untenable situation, including a plan for the progressive release of our funds."
It also noted that this included the repatriation and receipt of at least 80 per cent of its remaining blocked funds by the end of October 2022.
This, according to Emirates Airline is in addition to providing a guaranteed mechanism to avoid future repatriation accumulation challenges and delays.
“Under these extraordinary circumstances Emirates had no option but to suspend flights to/from Nigeria from 29 October 2022 to mitigate against further losses moving forward.
"We hope to reach a mutual resolution with the Nigerian government around the repatriation of blocked funds to enable the resumption of operations and connectivity for travellers and businesses.”
Emirates Airlines announces suspension of all flights from Nigeria on September 1, blames CBN
Also, in August, Nigerians hoping to travel to Dubai had their hopes dashed as Emirates Airlines decided to suspend their 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.
COVID-19: Senate intervenes in diplomatic row between Nigeria, UAE
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe called on his colleagues in the Senate to review the rift between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.
The two countries have had a disagreement over COVID-19 PCR testing for Nigerian travellers heading to UAE.
According to Abaribe, the continued action of the UAE by banning its national carrier into Nigeria contravenes the letters of bilateral agreements to which both nations are signatories.