The rapidly rising levels of airline funds, blocked from repatriation, are a threat to airline connectivity in the affected markets, International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned in a statement early this week.
The industry’s blocked funds rose 47% to $2.27 billion in April 2023 from $1.55 billion in April 2022.
“Airlines cannot continue to offer services in markets where they are unable to repatriate the revenues arising from their commercial activities in those markets,” stated IATA’s Director General Willie Walsh.
He added that 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.
The top five countries account for 68% 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 from selling tickets, cargo space, and other activities.