By Chinelo Obogo
Emirates airline has said that from September 1, 2022, it would suspend flights from Nigeria over its failure to repatriate money made from ticket sales which has been trapped in Nigeria.
In a statement on Thursday morning, the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said that it would suspend flights from Nigeria effective September 1, 2022 out of the millions of dollars of over 20 foreign airlines trapped in Nigeria since the beginning of the year, it has about $85 million.
It is estimated that about $600 million funds belonging to foreign airlines have been trapped in Nigerian since the beginning of the year and on Monday, the airline cut its 11 weekly frequencies to into Lagos Airport to seven but has now said it is being compelled to suspending all flights into the country.
“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 travelers, providing access to trade and tourism opportunities to Dubai, and to our broader network of over 130 destinations,” the airline said.