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American airline, Delta Air, joins list, to suspend Nigerian flights



One of the major airlines of the United States, Delta Air Lines, has disclosed that the company will be suspending one of its major direct flights to Nigeria, joining, what is becoming a long list of foreign airlines backing out of Nigerian aviation market.

Ripples Nigeria had previously reported that United Arab Emirates’ national carrier, Emirates Airlines, as well as UK carrier, British Airways, said they were suspending their operation in Nigeria due to their trapped funds in the country.

About $464 million foreign airline funds are trapped in Nigeria due to scarcity of forex, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) tightening access to FX. This has made it impossible for foreign airlines, who are one of the major sources of forex to repatriate their money out of Nigeria.

Following their threat to suspend operation, the central bank released $265 million to enable the airlines to repatriate some of their revenue to their parent countries.

Read also:Trapped funds: CBN releases $265m to airlines after protest

However, despite the release of the funds, Delta Air Lines said it will stop its flights between New York JFK airport and Lagos effective October 4, 2022, citing current demand environment as reason for the company’s decision.

“Delta is suspending its nonstop service between New York-JFK and Lagos to fit the current demand environment”, the company said, although it disclosed that “The airline continues to operate service between Lagos and Atlanta and offers onward connections to New York and other cities across the United States.”

Delta AirLines said affected customers will be diverted to other flights jointly operated with other companies, “Customers impacted by our suspended New York-JFK to Lagos service will be re-accommodated on Delta operated flights or services operated by our joint venture partners. Delta remains committed to the Nigeria market.”

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