IATA has said governments must abide by international agreements and treaty obligations to release blocked airline funds across the globe.
Blocked funds – which sees companies unable to transfer revenue from one place to another due to exchange controls imposed by the host government – are currently hitting airlines hardest in South America, Africa and South Asia, according to IATA.
Airline funds blocked from repatriation stood at $4.9 billion at the end of 2017, which despite a 7% decrease from the previous year, still had 16 countries blocking funds.
Venezuela is top of the list, blocking $3.78 billion of airline funds and Angola follows at $386 million, having recently cleared $120 million of its revenue buildup belonging to carriers.
We are encouraged by the recent developments in Nigeria and Angola and hope other states will also move quickly to address blocked funds
Some $170 million of funds are still awaiting clearance in Sudan, while Bangladesh’s total stands at $95 million and Zimbabwe completes the top five with $76 million in blocked airline income.
“Given the deepening economic crisis in Venezuela, a resolution appears to be unlikely in the short term,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“But we are encouraged by the recent developments in Nigeria and Angola and hope other states will also move quickly to address blocked funds.”
Nigeria moved to clear its $600 million in blocked funds in April, but the continuing fund blockages, especially in Venezuela, have moved IATA to reiterate the importance of working to release as much of the trapped funds worldwide as possible.