Emirates Airlines, the flag carrier of Dubai, announced on Thursday that it will restart flights to Nigeria as of September 11 following the release by the African nation of some of its frozen money.
Recall that Emirates announced on August 18 that it would stop operating flights to and from Nigeria due to difficulties in bringing money back from Nigeria and to prevent further losses.
“Emirates welcomes the Central Bank of Nigeria’s move to release a portion of our blocked funds,” the airline’s spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday. “We continue to engage with the Nigerian authorities to ensure the repatriation of our outstanding and future funds may continue without hindrance.”
Emirates will resume flights to/from Lagos starting on September 11, which is the earliest date at which we can plan for a smooth and secure start to operations. Additionally, it will provide travelers enough time to schedule and plan their trips, according to the statement provided to Khaleej Times.
According to reports in the Nigerian media, 20 airlines have so far this year been unable to return nearly $600 million (Dh2.2 billion) in ticket sales proceeds to their home countries. If Nigeria doesn’t release its frozen funds, other airlines have also threatened to halt service there.
The airline, based in Dubai, stated that it will continuously assess how its network is operating and that it will modify flight schedules in response to customer demand and other operational considerations.
“We remain eager to serve Nigeria,” the statement read. “By providing global connectivity for tourists and businesses to access trade and tourism opportunities in Dubai, and across our broader network of over 130 destinations.