Emirates Airlines has declared that, as of September 1, 2022, it will no longer operate flights to Nigeria.
This was announced on Thursday, August 18, by the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who cited their inability to repatriate their foreign exchange gains from Nigeria.
Emirates urged the aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, to facilitate the repatriation of its $85 million in income last month. Nigeria is experiencing a currency crisis, which has caused the native currency, the naira, to weaken versus the dollar.
The Emirates airline said the suspension would “limit further losses and reduce the impact on its operational costs that continue to accumulate in the Nigerian market”.
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 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.
In May, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) lamented the inability of foreign airlines to repatriate about $450 million in earnings
Of the amount, IATA said Nigeria alone is holding about $450 million due to a shortfall of foreign exchange (FX) and a dwindling reserve.