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For second time in 3 months, Emirates Airlines suspends flights to Nigeria over trapped funds

Emirates Airlines has suspended flight operations into Nigeria over blocked funds.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the airlines said the decision took effect from October 29.

It added that the suspension of flight operations into the country was aimed at preventing further losses in its business.

The Emirates had in August suspended flights to Nigeria over its inability to repatriate $85 million blocked revenue to Dubai.

Many foreign airlines in Nigeria have been at loggerheads with the Federal Government over their inability to repatriate $464 million blocked in the country.

The Central Bank of Nigeria in August promised to release $265 million to foreign airlines to offset part of the trapped funds.

The statement read: “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 in 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.

“We hope to reach a mutual resolution with the Nigerian government around the repatriation of blocked funds to enable the resumption of operations and connectivity for travelers and businesses.”

Source: Ripples Nigeria