Monday, October 2, 2023

Emirates suspends flights to Nigeria

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

The Dubai-based Emirates airline has suspended flights services to Nigeria effective September 1, 2022.

The airline said it has been unable to repatriate its money from Nigerian since investing in flights to the West African nation.

Nigeria has restricted access to foreign exchange, a move that has impacted the operations of businesses like Emirates.

The country restricted access to foreign currency for imports and for investors seeking to repatriate their profits due to a shortage of dollars.

Nigeria gets about 90% of its foreign exchange from oil, but is struggling to produce due to pipeline theft and years of under-investment, according to Reuters.

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According to Emirates it had earlier sent a letter to the government saying it could cut flights to Lagos in August because it could not get $85 million stuck in the country as of July, a figure that had been rising by $10 million per month.

In a statement, Emirates said it had “made considerable efforts to initiate dialogue with the relevant authorities for their urgent intervention to help find a viable solution.

“[It is] regrettable there has been no progress.”

Flights to Nigeria will now stop from September 1, 2022 “to limit further losses and impact on our operation cost” the airline said.

Emirates said it could reconsider its decision “should there be any positive developments in the coming days”.

Affected travellers can get refunds for their tickets, it added.

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