Nigeria: Again, Emirates Suspends Operations in Nigeria Over Trapped Funds

For the second time in two months, Emirates airline has announced suspension of flight operations into Nigeria indefinitely.

Recall that Emirates Airlines had announced the suspension of its flight operations to and from Nigeria in August.

The airlines had said the suspension became necessary following its inability to repatriate its funds from Nigeria because international carriers operating in Nigeria have repeatedly complained about their inability to repatriate funds to their home countries.

Reiterating same concern in a statement by Emirates on Thursday, the airline said it has no option but to suspend flights to/from Nigeria from 29 October 2022 to mitigate against further losses moving forward.

LEADERSHIP’s attempt to book a flight on the Emirates portal, yielded a negative result and an automatic non-availability message.

The statement reads, “Emirates has continued to actively seek a solution for the repatriation of the remainder of its blocked funds in Nigeria. We were encouraged by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s efforts of reviewing our request, and considered that this critical issue would be swiftly resolved with the subsequent clearance of our remaining funds.

“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 do 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.”

The airline explained that it has officially communicated its position and attended multiple hearings with the Nigerian government, and have made its proposed approach clear to alleviate this untenable situation, including a plan for the progressive release of our funds.

This included the repatriation and receipt of at least 80 per cent of its remaining blocked funds by the end of October 2022, in addition to providing a guaranteed mechanism to avoid future repatriation accumulation challenges and delays, the airline stated

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