Emirates to reduce Nigeria service due to trapped revenue: Report

by | Aug 1, 2022 | World

Industry observers say more airlines could follow suit if the central bank does not intervene to help airlines.Dubai’s Emirates plans to reduce flights to Nigeria this month due to troubles repatriating revenue from Africa’s most populous nation, according to a letter sent to the government and seen by Reuters.
The airline plans to cut the number of flights to Lagos to seven from 11 by mid-August, the letter said, adding it had $85m stuck in the country as of July, a figure that had been rising by $10m per month.
Industry observers say more airlines could follow suit if Nigeria’s central bank, which restricts access to foreign currency to tackle a severe dollar shortage, did not address airlines’ issues.
“We have no choice but to take this action, to mitigate the continued losses Emirates is experiencing as a result of funds being blocked in Nigeria,” it said in a letter to Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika dated July 22.
A spokesperson for the aviation ministry did not reply to a request for comment.
In an emailed statement, Emirates told Reuters that trouble repatriating funds was impacting its commercial viability in Nigeria and that efforts to solve the problem had been met with limited success.
The airline did not comment directly on the letter, and said it hoped to continue a full schedule.
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