Emirates, one of the biggest foreign airlines operating in Nigria has announced that it will stop flying to Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport in Abuja from 22 October. Emirates has written a formal letter to the Minister of State, Aviation sen Hadi Sirika to inform the government of its intention to stop flights to the capital city of Nigeria due to airline’s inability to buy forex and remit its sales.
Foreign airlines flying to Nigeria have started to refuel abroad because supplies have become more expensive and scarce in Nigeria as the country battles a hard currency shortage. Emirates has started a detour to Accra, Ghana, to refuel its daily Abuja-bound flight. It’s also cut its twice-daily flights to Lagos and Abuja to just one.
Emirates could reduce the frequency of its flights to African cities or cut routes completely if current economic and financial challenges on the continent continue. Emirate’s President Tim Clark has told reporters on the sidelines of an International Air Transport Association event that Emirates is reflecting on a number of African countries where currencies have lost value.
East African carrier Kenya Airways, has also indicated that it will also suspend its Abuja flights to Abuja due to the dwindling traffic from Abuja to Nairobi, the airline’s operational hub.