Emirates Airlines has again suspended flight operations to Nigeria over its inability to repatriate blocked funds stressing that without said funds it cannot meet its operational costs to maintain the commercial viability of its operations in Nigeria.
NigerianFLIGHTDECK gathered on Thursday that the suspension took effect from October 29, 2022.
According to the airline, it has communicated its position to the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Emirates said it had not received its allocation of the blocked funds despite CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele’s promise to release $265 million to foreign airlines to offset part of the trapped funds.“However, Emirates has yet to receive an allocation of our blocked funds to be repatriated,” Emirates said. READ ALSO: CBN to release another $120m to foreign airlines’ says blackmails unnecessary
“Without the timely repatriation of the funds and a mechanism in place to ensure that future repatriation of Emirates’ funds does 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 have officially communicated our position and attended multiple hearings with the Nigerian government, and we have made our proposed approach clear to alleviate this untenable situation, including a plan for the progressive release of our funds. READ ALSO: CBN releases $265million from total trapped funds
“This included the repatriation and receipt of at least 80% of our remaining blocked funds by the end of October 2022, in addition to providing a guaranteed mechanism to avoid future repatriation accumulation challenges and delays.
“Under these extraordinary circumstances Emirates had no option but to suspend flights to/from Nigeria from 29 October 2022 to mitigate against further losses moving forward,” the airline explained.
Recall that in August, Emirates suspended flights to Nigeria over its $85 million blocked revenue leading the CBN to release $265million of funds belonging to foreign airlines and just recently announced another release of $120 million.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) through its representative Samson Fatokun at a recent meeting with the CBN said foreign airlines have not been unable to repatriate $700million from Nigeria.