Emirates Airlines To Reduce Flights To Nigeria Over Dollar Crisis, Unpaid $85million

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Emiratesa380The United Arab Emirates’ aviation company said it took this decision to save the company from loss, stating that its decision would become effective on August 15, 2022. Multinational giant, Emirates Airlines, has disclosed it will reduce its weekly number of flights into Lagos, Nigeria from 11 to 7 due to unpaid $85million trapped in the country and unavailability of foreign exchange.
The United Arab Emirates’ aviation company said it took this decision to save the company from loss, stating that its decision would become effective on August 15, 2022.
This was contained in a letter by the Divisional Senior Vice President (DSVP) of Emirates, Sheikh Majid Al Mualla to Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Senator HadiSirika, and also obtained by Leadership.
The airline said it had been difficult to reclaim its trapped fund and the money was needed to run its operations.
The airline, which said the fund has been rising by over $ 10 million every month, as its operational cost continues to accumulate, said its proposal to pay for aviation fuel in local currency was also rebuffed by fuel suppliers in Nigeria.
The letter reads, “It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you of planned reductions in Emirates’ operations to Nigeria. With effect from 15 August 2022, Emirates will be forced to reduce flights from Dubai to Lagos from 11 per week to 7 per week.
“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.
“These funds are urgently needed to meet our operational costs and maintain the commercial viability of our services to Nigeria. 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 Naira, which would have at least reduced one element of our ongoing costs, however, this request was denied by the supplier.”
He further disclosed that sending in foreign exchange to run its operations in Nigeria daily is further affecting Emirates’ profit margins, but promised to return to normal flight operations if it was able to reclaim its trapped fund.
“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,” he noted.

 


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