Emirates Airlines has announced the suspension of its flight operations to Nigeria, from September 1, 2022.
The flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) disclosed this in a statement on Thursday, citing the inability to repatriate its earnings in foreign exchange from Nigeria.
Emirates had last month asked Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika to support the repatriation of its revenue, amounting to $85 million.
The airline said the suspension would “limit further losses and reduce the impact on its operational costs that continue to accumulate in the Nigerian 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 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 added.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had recently lamented the inability of foreign airlines to repatriate about $450 million in earnings due to a shortfall of foreign exchange and a dwindling reserve.