Foreign airlines and passengers operating in Nigeria breathed a sigh of relief as the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released some funds owed to international air carriers to try and avert a crisis in the aviation sector amid warnings of flight suspensions from operators including Dubai’s Emirates Airlines.
The Central Bank of Nigeria released $265 million to settle ticket sales owed to airline operators, it said late last Friday.
Nigeria – Africa’s biggest economy – owed carriers $464 million, the International Air Transport Association noted this month, while insisting that Nigeria’s failure to repatriate airline revenues will hurt connectivity.
Earlier this month, Dubai’s Emirates said it would suspend flights to Nigeria from September, while Lagos-based Punch Newspapers reported on Saturday that British Airways has stopped travel agents in Nigeria from selling its tickets.
Meanwhile, Kenya Airways is also contemplating flight disruption to the West African country with the airline noting three countries including Nigeria, Malawi, and Ethiopia are withholding $28 million worth of its revenue, which is affecting its cash flow, KQ said in its investor briefing recently.