Image: Willie Walsh courtesy of IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned at the AGM in Istanbul today that rapidly rising levels of blocked funds are a threat to airline connectivity in the affected markets. The industry’s blocked funds have increased by 47% to $2.27 billion in April 2023 from $1.55 billion in April 2022.
Governments need to work with industry
“Airlines cannot continue to offer services in markets where they are unable to repatriate the revenues arising from their commercial activities in those markets. Governments need to work with industry to resolve this situation so airlines can continue to provide the connectivity that is vital to driving economic activity and job creation,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
The top five countries account for 68.0% of blocked funds. These comprise:
• Nigeria ($812.2 million)
• Bangladesh ($214.1 million)
• Algeria ($196.3 million)
• Pakistan ($188.2 million)
• Lebanon ($141.2 million)
IATA urged governments to abide by international agreements and treaty obligations to enable airlines to repatriate these funds arising from the sale of tickets, cargo space, and other activities.