Emirates 'in discussions' over relaunch of Abuja flights

Airline suspended flights to the Nigerian capital last year citing shrinking demand
Emirates 'in discussions' over relaunch of Abuja flights
Emirates is considering relaunching its services to Abuja from November 1, according to the Nigerian minister of state for aviation.
By Sarah Townsend
Mon 18 Sep 2017 11:04 AM

Emirates is in discussions with authorities in Nigeria about the possibility of relaunching its services to Abuja, the airline has confirmed.

The Nigerian minister of state for aviation, Hadi Sirika, said officials from the African country had met with representatives from Emirates and discussed dates for resuming flights.

Emirates suspended its four times weekly services between Dubai and the Nigerian capital of Abuja last year, with Emirates’ president Tim Clark citing ongoing financial challenges amid steep currency declines in Nigeria.

It has maintained its once-daily service to and from the country’s largest city, Lagos.

In a tweet, Sirika said officials had proposed recommencing Emirates flights to Abuja from November 1.

Emirates has not confirmed whether the flights will definitely relaunch then, but it did confirm that discussions are taking place.

“Emirates is in discussions with the authorities in Nigeria on a number of issues, including the possibility of restoring services to Abuja," a spokesperson said.

"Once these discussions have concluded we will be in a position to consider whether Emirates’ services to Abuja will be resumed.”

Sirika’s tweet said: “[Meeting] Concluded with Emirates return to Abuja November 1st. Looking at second leg to Lagos via Kano later on. Please bear with us.”

His announcement follows completion of works to the runway of the Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport between March and April, cited to cost $18 million.

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