Blocked funds threaten airline operations in Pakistan: Iata

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has warned that rapidly rising levels of blocked funds pose a threat to airline connectivity in several countries including Pakistan.

The industry’s blocked funds have increased by 47% to $2.27 billion in April 2023 from $1.55 billion in April 2022, the global airline association said in a statement on Sunday.

“Airlines cannot continue to offer services in markets where they are unable to repatriate the revenues arising from their commercial activities in those markets,” the Iata added.

The airline association director general Willie Walsh urged the governments 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 top five countries account for 68.0% of blocked funds: Nigeria ($812.2 million), Bangladesh ($214.1 million), Algeria ($196.3 million), Pakistan ($188.2 million) and Lebanon ($141.2 million).

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

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