THE International Air Transportation Association (IATA) is downbeat and says foreign airlines’ funds being blocked in Nigeria increased to $464million in July from $450 million in May stating that the figure grew by $14 million .
The global airline body revealed this in a series of tweets on Thursday while stating that Nigeria’s position towards funds repatriation was disappointing.
“IATA is disappointed that the amount of airline money blocked from repatriation by the Nigerian government grew to $464 million in July,” it said.
“IATA’s many warnings that failure to restore timely repatriation will hurt Nigeria with reduced air connectivity are proving true with the withdrawal of Emirates from the market.
“Airlines can’t be expected to fly if they can’t realise revenue from ticket sales. Loss of connectivity harms the economy, hurts investor confidence, impacts jobs and people’s lives.”
IATA, therefore, urged the government of Nigeria to prioritise the release funds “before more damage is done.”
On Thursday before the IATA tweet, Emirates Airlines had announced the suspension of its flight operations to Nigeria, starting from September 1, 2022.
Last month, the airline in a letter to Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s minister of aviation, requested support for the repatriation of its revenue, amounting to $85 million declaring that the current situation has led it to reduced its operations to the country from 11 flights weekly to seven, that was before Thursdays total withdrawal.