New Telegraph

Again, Emirates stops flights to Nigeria over ‘seized’ funds, visa hiccups

The twin – problem of trapped funds and tough visa restrictions for Nigerians by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have forced Emirates Airlines to again suspend flights to Nigeria. This is the second time the mega carrier would be taking action to suspend flight operations to Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had a few weeks ago released $265 million out of $465 million owed foreign carriers. On that day, the apex Bank allocated $32 million to the International Air Transport Association (IATA); $32 million through UBA -– Qatar Airways; $22.8 million through Standard Chartered – Emirates; $19.6 million through Access Bank – British Airway; $5.5 million through GTB – Virgin Atlantic; $4.8 million through Zenith and others.

Just last week, the CBN announced that it would release another $150 million to the airlines. It is unclear how much the total accruais but sources close to the carriers said the funds had accumulated to more than $600 million. Emirates in a statement yesterday said the suspension of flight services to Nigeria took effect from October 29, 2022. The airline said it has communicated its position to the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria. “However, Emirates has yet to receive an allocation of our blocked funds to be repatriated,” Emirates said.

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