Having lost hope in the Federal Government after several efforts made to ensure it gets its trapped $85 million of the over $600 million funds belonging to foreign carriers but got trapped in Nigeria failed, Emirates Airlines has announced it will stop flying into Nigeria effective September 1, 2022.
In a statement issued by the airline and made available to journalists Thursday morning, the airline declared:
“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 1 September 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 travellers, providing access to trade and tourism opportunities to Dubai, and to our broader network of over 130 destinations.”
All efforts so far made by the foreign airlines to get their blocked funds repatriated to their home countries had met brick wall as the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) continued to show a lackadaisical attitude towards the plight of the foreign carriers.
With the decision to pull out of Nigeria, many other foreign carriers according to information gathered are gearing up to follow suit.