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Emirates Airlines set to reduce flight operations to Nigeria over inability to repatriate $85 million in revenue

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Due to its inability to repatriate around $85 million in revenue, Emirates Airlines has announced that it will cut back on its flying operations to Nigeria.

The start date for this is August 15.

This information was provided by the airline in a letter to Hadi Sirika, the aviation minister.

Sheik Majid Al Mualla, divisional senior vice-president (DSVP), international relations for Emirates airline, signed the letter.

The airline announced that there would be seven fewer flights at Murtala Muhammed International Airport each week instead of 11 (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.

“Emirates did try to stem the losses by proposing to pay for fuel in Nigeria in Nairas, which would have at least reduced one element of our ongoing costs, however, this request was denied by the supplier.

“This means that not only are Emirates’ revenues accumulating, we also have to send hard currency into Nigeria to sustain our own operation. Meanwhile, our revenues are out of reach, and not even earning credit interest.

“Your Excellency, this is not a decision we have taken lightly. Indeed, we have made every effort to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to find a solution to this issue. Our Senior Vice-President met with the Deputy Governor of the CBN in May and followed up on the meeting by letter to the Governor himself the following month, however no positive response was received.”

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