IATA: Blocked Airline Funds Hamper Growth and Connectivity

ISTANBUL – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) calls on governments to lift all barriers to airlines repatriating their revenues from ticket sales and other activities, in line with international agreements and treaty obligations. 

The global aviation industry’s blocked funds have increased by 47% to US$2.27bn in April this year from US$1.55bn in April 2022, IATA announced in Istanbul during its 79th Annual General Meeting (AGM).

IATA warned that rapidly rising levels of blocked funds are a threat to airline connectivity in the affected markets. Of these, five countries account for 68% of blocked funds, with Nigeria (US$812.2m); Bangladesh (US$214.1m), Algeria (US$196.3m), Pakistan (US$188.2m), and Lebanon (US$141.2m).

Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA reiterated the point and urged governments to collaborate with industry players to address the unfolding crisis. In his words, “Airlines cannot continue to offer services in markets where they are unable to repatriate the revenues arising from their commercial activities in those markets.”

Kamil Al-Awadhi, Regional Vice President, Africa, and Middle East, IATA during the presentation of the Regional Update for Africa and the Middle East in the 79th Annual General Meeting in Istanbul, Türkiye. (Photo: Natalia Mroz/IATA)

Nigeria Woes


Repatriation issues arose in March 2020 in Nigeria, when demand for foreign currency in the country outpaced supply and the country’s banks were not able to service currency repatriations. As a result of the issue, international airlines resorted to selling their tickets in dollars because of their inability to access their monies trapped in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Despite the challenges, Nigerian authorities had been engaged with the airlines and worked to find measures to release the funds available. However, the efforts have stalled as preparations for general elections took place, leading to an increase of blocked funds in the country.

Speaking at the IATA 79th Annual General Meeting in Istanbul, Türkiye, Kamil Al-Awadhi, Regional Vice President, Africa, and Middle East, IATA, seems to be optimistic and expects that the new government led by Bola Ahmed Tinubu will clear 50% of the trapped funds “immediately” while negotiations resume clearing the remaining 50% in the next months.


Featured Image: IATA is calling on governments to lift all barriers to airlines repatriating their revenues from ticket sales and other activities, in line with international agreements and treaty obligations. 

Industry

IATA: Unruly Passenger Incidents on the Rise

Events, Industry

IATA: Hearing in Appeal Over Schiphol Cap to

Events, Industry

IATA’s 79th Annual General Meeting Takes off in

AvGeek, Industry

ETOPS: History, Evolution, Current Applications

Article source: https://airwaysmag.com/iata-blocked-funds-growth-and-connectivity/

Leave a Reply