Emirates has announced it will suspend flights from Nigeria after the airline claims the government is making it impossible to transfer funds from the country.
According to Emirates, the Nigerian government is holding roughly $85 million, which the government says is because of a new rule that restricts the withdrawal of foreign currency due to a shortage of dollars.
In a statement, Emirates said they “have tried every avenue to address our ongoing challenges in repatriating funds from Nigeria, and 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 01 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.”
This all comes as the International Air Transport Association says that the Nigerian government is withholding $450 million worth of revenue from international carriers operating in the country.