Emirates resumes flight operations in Nigeria

Emirates Airlines has announced it will resume flight operations in Nigeria after shutting down for two weeks citing its inability to repatriate earnings of about $85 million from Nigeria.

The company announced this in emails sent to its customers on Wednesday.

“We are pleased to inform you that effective from 11th September 2022, we will reinstate operations of our flights,” the airline said.

“Inbound flights from Dubai to Lagos (EK783) and outbound flights from Lagos to Dubai (EK784) will recommence from Sunday, 11th September 2022.

“Lagos flights after 30th September 2022 will be advised in due course.”

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier had said in a letter addressed to the minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika: “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.

“As of July 2022, Emirates has US$85 million of funds awaiting repatriation from Nigeria. This figure has been rising by more than $US10 million every month, as the ongoing operational costs of our 11 weekly flights to Lagos and 5 to Abuja continue to accumulate.”

The Emirates’ move followed concerns raised by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) over the issue. IATA had said foreign airlines’ funds trapped in Nigeria rose from $450 million in May to $464 million in July.

The Nigerian Government is believed to have released some $265 million to foreign airlines to enable them stay in business.