Following the refusal of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to exempt foreign carriers from its forex policy, a Spanish Airline, Iberia, has pulled out of Nigeria.
The Spanish owned national carrier was said to have taken the decision in view of the financial predicaments brought upon it by the CBN forex policy, which prevented it from repatriating its proceeds made in Nigeria for many months now.
Prior to the spanish Airline’s decision, many of the foreign carriers had expressed their displeasure at the CBN policy, with many threatening to withdraw their services from Nigeria if nothing was urgently done to reverse it. This current Federal Government foreign exchange (FX) policy causing forex shortage seems to have claimed its first casualty.
Since the introduction of the policy, foreign airlines have had over $500 million trapped in the various banks which they ought to have repatriated to their various home countries.
Some aviation experts had earlier speculated that many airlines operating in Nigeria may be tempted to cut corners in their maintenance schedules as scarcity of Forex makes it harder to buy and stock consumables for aircraft in reasonable quantities.
Some other foreign airlines operating on international routes in the country had also reportedly increased airfares by as much as 100% following these developments.
With the International Air Transport Association (IATA) rule, which stipulates that monies that are not repatriated within a period of two months should be considered as blocked, the experts fear this developments may result in fewer investments and loss of jobs in the country’s aviation sector, as many airlines may be faced with the option of laying-off staff.
Read More Here: Forex Shortage Affects Airline Operators In Nigeria