June 5, 2023

Nigeria tops with $812.2m as airlines’ unrepatriated funds hit $2.27bn – IATA 

Nigeria tops with $812.2m as airlines’ unrepatriated funds hit $2.27bn – IATA 

By Biodun Busari

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed that Nigeria tops the list of countries in which airlines’ funds blocked from repatriation account for 68% worldwide.

IATA said the airlines’ funds blocked from repatriation increased from $1.55 billion in April 2022 to $2.27 billion in April 2023. 

The association warned that the rapidly rising levels of airline funds blocked from repatriation pose a danger to airline connectivity in the affected markets, as it said the increase amounted to 47%.

“Airlines cannot continue to offer services in markets where they are unable to repatriate the revenues arising from their commercial activities in those markets,” IATA’s Director-General Willie Walsh said in a statement.

He disclosed 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 air transport association listed the countries with the highest debts as Nigeria ($812.2 million), Bangladesh ($214.1 million), Algeria ($196.3 million), Pakistan ($188.2 million) and Lebanon ($141.2 million).

Walsh also ​​​​​urged governments to abide by international agreements and treaty obligations to enable airlines to repatriate the funds arising from the sale of tickets, cargo space, and other activities.