Soaring Funds Of Foreign Airlines Trapped In Nigeria, Algeria, Others Ruffles IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on affected countries especially Nigeria to abide by the international agreements reached regarding ticket sales as foreign airlines’ trapped funds in Nigeria have risen to $818.2 million, the highest of such record in the entire world.
This was disclosed by Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director-General who put the total trapped funds in the world at $2.27 billion as of April 2023.
As of March 2023, the total trapped fund in Nigeria was $700 million. But it has since risen to $818.2 million between March and April, marking a $118.2 million increase.
However, apart from Nigeria, IATA also mentioned Bangladesh ($214.1 million), Algeria ($196.3 million), Pakistan ($188.2 million), and Lebanon ($141.2 million) as nations with the highest trapped foreign airlines’ funds in the world.
IATA explained that the top five countries account for 68 per cent of blocked funds globally.
Walsh warned that rapidly rising levels of blocked funds are a threat to airline connectivity in the affected markets.
He emphasized that the industry’s blocked funds have increased by 47 per cent to $2.27 billion in April 2023 from $1.55 billion in April 2022.
He also explained that airlines could not continue to offer flight services in countries where they have found it difficult to repatriate their funds and called for quick action to address the situation.
According to him, “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 thereafter 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.