$144m airlines’ fund trapped in Nigeria, says IATA | Dailytrust

$144m airlines’ fund trapped in Nigeria, says IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Thursday lamented over the blocked funds belonging to airlines in several countries.

The association, representing some 290 airlines, urged governments to abide by international agreements and treaty obligations to enable airlines to repatriate nearly $1 billion in blocked funds from the sale of tickets, cargo space, and other activities.

Approximately $963 million in airline funds are being blocked from repatriation in nearly 20 countries.

Four countries: Bangladesh ($146.1 million), Lebanon ($175.5 million), Nigeria ($143.8 million), and Zimbabwe ($142.7 million), account for over 60% of this total, although there has been positive progress in reducing blocked funds in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe of late.

IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, said: “Governments are preventing nearly $1 billion of airline revenues from being repatriated.

“This contravenes international conventions and could slow the recovery of travel and tourism in affected markets as the airline industry struggles to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

“Airlines will not be able to provide reliable connectivity if they cannot rely on local revenues to support operations.

“That is why it is critical for all governments to prioritize ensuring that funds can be repatriated efficiently. Now is not the time to score an ‘own goal’ by putting vital air connectivity at risk.”

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