Emirates Airlines have announced the suspension of all flights in and out of Nigeria effective from September 1, 2022.
Naija News reports that the airline made this known in a statement to journalists on Thursday morning.
It was gathered that the decision to suspend its flights was due to the failure of Emirates Airlines to repatriate its trapped ticket sales fund in Nigeria back to its home country in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Some weeks back, Emirates said it would reduce the number of times it frequents Nigeria from 11 to 7 per week.
The Nigerian government has been under pressure due to blocked funds belonging to foreign airlines, which have hit over $500m.
Emirates alone has $85 million in trapped funds.
At least $600 million from over 20 foreign airlines has been blocked in Nigeria since the beginning of the year.
The airline’s statement on Thursday said: ”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.”