Daily Trust Abuja Lagos Abdullateef Aliyu
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

Emirates Airlines yesterday officially shut down its operations in Abuja, the nation’s capital though temporarily.

The airline had announced that it would suspend its four flights per week from Abuja to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), with effect from yesterday.

« The decision was made after a review of the airline’s operations to ensure the best utilisation of its aircraft fleet for its overall business objectives. The airline continues to serve Nigeria with a daily flight to and from Lagos, » the airline said in a statement.

It was learnt that though the suspension commenced yesterday based on the notification letter sent to the ministry of transportation by the airline, reservation from Abuja had since closed.

Minister of State for Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika had last week met with Regional Manager, West Africa of Emirates, Manoj Nair, where he urged foreign airlines to rescind the decision to scale down operations in Nigeria.

A source, however, told Daily Trust that Emirates may soon reopen the routes as the suspension was temporary.

The Emirates representative told the minister that the airline’s inability to access foreign exchange for its operations, high cost of aviation fuel and the state of the Abuja Airport runway were some of the factors responsible for its decision to cut operations.

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