Two International Airlines have suspended flights to Nigeria, partly in response to falling trade but also because of foreign currency restrictions that have trapped up to $1bn of the industry’s earnings in the west African nation. In the latest illustration of the economic crisis engulfing Nigeria, United Airlines is to discontinue daily flights between Lagos, the commercial capital, and Houston in the US at the end of the month. Iberia, the Spanish airliner, cancelled all four of its weekly flights to Nigeria in May.
Other top carriers, including Air France, British Airways, Virgin and Emirates, are also being affected by the currency controls. The restrictions were introduced last year by President Muhammadu Buhari as his government grapples with the country’s worst economic crisis in decades, triggered by the collapse in oil prices.
Two Nigerian bankers told the Financial Times that arrears to the aviation sector stand at $1bn or more, Financial Times reports.