Patrick Kelechi, Lagos – Emirates Airlines has announced the reinstatement of its flight operations to Lagos, starting September 11.
The airline said this in an email to customers yesterday.
The development comes almost a week after the federal government released the sum of $265 million to foreign airlines in the country to settle outstanding ticket sales.
“We are pleased to inform you that effective from 11th September 2022, we will reinstate operations of our flights
“Inbound flights from Dubai to Lagos (EK783) and outbound flights from Lagos to Dubai (EK784) will recommence from Sunday, 11th September 2022.
“Lagos flights after 30th September, 2022 will be advised in due course,” Emirates said.
The flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) suspended flight operations to Nigeria on August 18.
The airline said the decision was due to its inability to repatriate its earnings in foreign exchange from Nigeria.
The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) expressed disappointment over the issue, saying that foreign airlines’ funds trapped in Nigeria had increased from $450 million in May to $464 million in July.
In its defence, the Federal Government had maintained that the country was facing a forex exchange crisis, and could not meet various obligations, including revenue repatriation by foreign airlines and dollar requests by citizens and businesses.
But following a torrent of pressure from stakeholders, and also the blocking of Nigerian travel agents from issuing tickets by British Airways, the federal government released $265 million to the airlines.
IATA, while welcoming the move, said it would encourage foreign carriers to continue servicing the country.