Unable to repatriate $85m, Emirates set to reduce operations in Nigeria

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Emirates Airlines has said it will reduce its flight operations to Nigeria due to its inability to repatriate about $85 million in revenue. The airline made this known in a letter addressed to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

The letter, dated July 22, was signed by Emirates airline’s divisional senior vice-president (DSVP), international affairs, Sheik Majid Al Mualla. Emirates said the planned reductions in its operations in Nigeria would take effect from August 15. It added that flights would be reduced from 11 per week to seven at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA).

“We have had no choice but to take this action, to mitigate the continued losses Emirates is experiencing as a result of funds being blocked in Nigeria,” the letter said. “As of July 2022, Emirates has US$ 85 million of funds awaiting repatriation from Nigeria. This figure has been rising by more than $US 10 million every month, as the ongoing operational costs of our 11 weekly flights to Lagos and 5 to Abuja continue to accumulate.

“We simply cannot continue to operate at the current level in the face of mounting losses, especially in the challenging post-COVID-19 climate.

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