IATA urges governments to release blocked airline funds

Carriers face big problems getting their money in five countries, including Egypt.
IATA urges governments to release blocked airline funds
Image for illustrative purpose only. (Getty Images)
By AVB Staff
Mon 06 Jun 2016 11:52 AM

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on governments to respect international agreements obliging them to ensure airlines are able to repatriate their revenues.

IATA monitors blocked funds globally, the sum of which exceeds $5 billion. The top two countries blocking the repatriation of airline funds are Venezuela and Nigeria.

"Air connectivity is vital to all economies. The airline industry is a competitive business operating on thin margins. So the efficient repatriation of revenues is critical for airlines to be able to play their role as a catalyst for economic activity.

"It is not reasonable to expect airlines to invest and operate in nations where they cannot efficiently collect payment for their services," said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Airline funds blocked from repatriation in Venezuela total $3.8 billion. Currency controls implemented in 2003 necessitate government approval to repatriate funds. By 2013, approvals were not keeping pace with the amount of funds requiring repatriation and significant airline revenue accumulated in Venezuela.

The situation became critical in 2015 when only one request to repatriate funds was approved. So far in 2016 only one request to repatriate funds has been granted.

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