Emirates airline on Thursday said it's suspending flights to and from Nigeria due to challenges in repatriating funds from the African country and to limit losses.
The Dubai-based airline's spokesperson said in a statement to Khaleej Times that it will re-evaluate this "difficult decision" if there is a positive development with regard to repatriation of blocked funds.
Nigerian media reported that around 20 airlines have been unable to repatriate their ticket sale funds of over $600 million (Dh2.2 billion) so far this year from 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," an Emirates spokesperson said in a statement.
Dubai's flagship carrier said the circumstances are beyond its control at this stage and assured that it 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," the airline said.
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