No Plan To Leave Nigeria, Says British Airways

British-AirwaysThe United Kingdom’s national carrier, British Airways, has refuted media report that it was planning to stop operations to Nigeria over its $100m trapped in the country.
The airline made the denial on the heels of reports that major international airlines were withdrawing their services from Nigeria over “weakness in the energy sector and difficulties in collecting money from tickets sold” in the country.
According to the International Air Transport Association, IATA, Nigeria was indebted to airlines to the tune of $575 million in airfares as of March 31, 2016 following the federal government’s foreign exchange policy that has placed a limit on the amount of money that can be repatriated abroad.
The policy was part of government’s response to the global slump in oil prices, which has seen Nigeria’s foreign reserves massively depleted.
But the foreign airline dismissed reports of its purported exit as untrue, stressing that it never issued any statement to the media indicating such.
British Airways clarified in a statement on Sunday that it has a long history in Nigeria, having begun operations in the country 80 years ago as Imperial Airways.
The statement noted that Nigeria remains a strategic market for the airline, adding that its operations locally are very strong.
“We have not issued any statements at any time indicating that we are on the verge of terminating operations in the country. We will continue daily operations into Nigeria”, it said.

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