The International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that rapidly rising levels of blocked funds are a threat to airline connectivity in the affected markets.
The world airline body made this known at its Annual General Meeting & World Air Transport Summit taking place on 4-6 June in Istanbul, Turkey.
The industry’s blocked funds have increased by 47% to $2.27 billion in April 2023 from $1.55 billion in April 2022.
As it stands, the top five countries that account for 68.0% of blocked funds are Nigeria with the highest trapped funds ($812.2 million), Bangladesh ($214.1 million), Algeria ($196.3 million), Pakistan ($188.2 million), Lebanon ($141.2 million)
IATA’s Director General, Willie Walsh said, “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” .
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.