Sources within the Nigerian Aviation Industry have confirmed that Dubai-based airline, Emirates airline will suspend its Nigerian operations from October 22.
The suspension is reportedly due to irregularities in the country’s foreign currency repatriation policy with stakeholders in the aviation sector complaining about the inability of foreign airlines to get the dollar equivalent of the money and noted that if nothing is done to resolve the problem, Emirate will be the next to suspend its operation in Nigeria.
Foreign airlines lost as much as N64b on account of repatriating $800 million stuck in the economy in the last one year, but released after the recent devaluation of the naira. Following the devaluation, the accumulated $800million from airlines’ sales of tickets when the exchange rate was still at N197 to $1, was taken out of the country at the new rate of N320 to $1. Consequently, a substantial amount was lost.
The stakeholders called on the federal government to intervene in this problem as it would send a wrong signal to the world if foreign airlines keep suspending operations in Nigeria. Some of Nigeria’s local carriers, Aero Contractor and First Nation have already suspended operations as some stakeholders push for yet another bailout for the troubled aviation sector.
Emirates Airline is a Dubai-based airline, United Arab Emirates and a subsidiary of the Emirates Group, which is wholly owned by the government of Dubai’s Investment Corporation of Dubai.