The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has lamented the failure of airlines to repatriate funds from several countries around the world.
The organisation said an estimated $963 million in airline funds is being blocked from repatriation in nearly 20 countries.
It added that four countries, including Nigeria, account for over 60 per cent of the figure.
The countries are Bangladesh ($146.1 million), Lebanon ($175.5 million), Nigeria ($143.8 million), and Zimbabwe ($142.7 million).
IATA, representing 290 airlines, urged governments around the world to abide by international agreements and treaty obligations to enable airlines to repatriate nearly $1 billion in blocked funds from the sale of tickets, cargo space, and other activities.
“Governments are preventing nearly $1 billion of airline revenues from being repatriated,’ says IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh.
“This contravenes international conventions and could slow the recovery of travel and tourism in affected markets as the airline industry struggles to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
“Airlines will not be able to provide reliable connectivity if they cannot rely on local revenues to support operations.
“That is why it is critical for all governments to prioritize ensuring that funds can be repatriated efficiently. Now is not the time to score an ‘own goal’ by putting vital air connectivity at risk.”
IATA added, however, that there has been positive progress in reducing blocked funds in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in recent years.
The organisation has over the years lamented the blocking of funds by some countries across the world.
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