Stranded airline funds could slow recovery
Geneva: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged governments to respect international agreements and treaty obligations to allow airlines to repatriate nearly $ 1 billion in stranded funds from ticket sales, cargo spaces and other activities.
“Governments are preventing the repatriation of nearly $ 1 billion in airline revenues. This violates 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 their operations. This is why it is essential that all governments prioritize ensuring that funds can be repatriated effectively. Now is not the time to score an ‘own goal’ by jeopardizing vital air connectivity, ”said Willie Walsh, IATA chief executive.
About $ 963 million in airline funds are stranded for repatriation in nearly 20 countries. Four countries: Bangladesh ($ 146.1 million), Lebanon ($ 175.5 million), Nigeria ($ 143.8 million) and Zimbabwe ($ 142.7 million) account for more than 60 % of this total, although positive progress has been made in reducing funds stranded in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in recent times.
“We encourage governments to work with industry to resolve issues that prevent airlines from repatriating funds. This will allow aviation to provide the connectivity necessary to maintain jobs and energize economies as they recover from COVID-19, ”Walsh said.
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