Dubai: Emirates will resume some flights to Nigeria this month after the Central Bank of Nigeria released a portion funds the Dubai airline had earned in the country but had not been able to repatriate.
An airline spokesperson said flights to Lagos will resume from September 11, though it is not possible to resume flights to Abuja in September because resources had already been stood down.
"We continue to engage with the Nigerian authorities to ensure the repatriation of our outstanding and future funds may continue without hindrance," the spokesperson said, welcoming what it said was the central bank's move to release a portion of its blocked funds.
In light of these developments, Emirates will reinstate flights to/from Lagos from 11 September, which is the earliest date for us to coordinate the smooth and safe resumption of operations. It will also provide travellers with sufficient time to plan and book their journeys.
“We constantly review our network operations and will adjust our flying schedules to respond to market demand and other operational factors.
“We remain keen to serve Nigeria, by providing international connectivity for travellers and businesses to access to trade and tourism opportunities in Dubai, and across our broader network of over 130 destinations.”
- Emirates’ statement on flights to Nigeria
The state-owned carrier last month announced it was suspending all flights to Nigeria from September 1 after it said it had made no progress with local authorities to access its funds. Nigeria's Central Bank later said it had released $265 million to airlines to settle outstanding ticket sales.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the largest airline group, had said that by July Nigeria was blocking airlines from repatriating $464 million in revenue.