The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed that Nigeria tops the list of countries with the highest airlines funds blocked from repatriation.
According to media reports on Monday, airlines’ funds blocked from repatriation hit $2.27 billion in April 2023, up from $1.55 billion in April last year.
IATA said airlines cannot continue to offer services in countries like Nigeria, Bangladesh, Algeria, Pakistan and Lebanon, all of which account for 68% of the total blocked funds worldwide.
Nigeria blocked $812.2 million of the total amount; Bangladesh withheld $214.1 million, Algeria $196.3 million, Pakistan $188.2 million and $141.2 million is trapped in Lebanon.
The $2.27 billion revenue was generated from the sale of tickets, cargo space, and other activities, but foreign airlines can’t repatriate the turnover after transactions.
According to IATA’s director-general, Willie Walsh, governments of these countries need to resolve the bottlenecks around the repatriation of funds to enable the airlines to provide connectivity that will drive economic growth.
“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,” Walsh said.
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