$2Billion Trapped Fund Threatens Foreign Airline Operations in Nigeria

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More airlines operating on international route may be forced to downsize or cease air service operations in Nigeria, following their inability to repatriate their air services funds to their home countries over foreign exchange difficulties.

In Nigeria, foreign airlines collect naira for their tickets to customers and exchange same for foreign currencies for their operations. But recently, they said they have been unable to get the exchange executed through the official foreign exchange market due to scarcity of foreign exchange resources.

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In response to the trapped funds, United Arab Emirates flag carrier, Emirates airline, grounded its operation in Nigeria, while some others shut down their low ticket inventory to Nigeria’s passengers, thus forcing travellers to pay high airfares.

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However, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, waded in, calling the foreign airlines operating in the country to respect its bilateral aviation services agreement, BASA.

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