GENEVA, 23 August 2021: The International Air Transport
Association (IATA) urges governments to unblock nearly USD1 billion in tickets
cargo space sales, in line with international agreements and treaty
obligations.

“Governments are preventing nearly USD1 billion in airline revenues from being repatriated. 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,” said IATA’s director-general Willie Walsh.

Willie Walsh.

“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.

Approximately USD963 million in airline funds are being
blocked from repatriation in nearly 20 countries.

Four countries: Bangladesh (USD146.1 million), Lebanon (USD175.5
million), Nigeria (USD143.8 million), and Zimbabwe (USD142.7 million), already
account for over 60% of the total, although IATA says “there has been positive
progress in reducing blocked funds in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe of late.”

Walsh added: “We encourage governments to work with industry
to resolve the issues that are preventing airlines from repatriating funds.
This will enable aviation to provide the connectivity needed to sustain jobs
and energize economies as they recover from Covid-19.”

(Source: IATA)