Trapped airlines’ funds: Nigeria tops most indebted countries globally

Foreign Airlines 143.8m Trapped In Nigeria

Foreign Airlines trapped funds across the globe has skyrocketed to $2.27billion in April 2023 from the initial $1.55billion in April 2022.


The latest figure released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show the blocked funds have since increased by 47 percent of what was obtained last year.


Speaking at the 2023 IATA Annual General Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, the director general, Willie Walsh listed the six most indebted countries to the foreign Airlines.


According to the IATA DG, Nigeria topped the most indebted five countries with $812.2 million followed by Bangladesh with $214 million debts.

Other top indebted countries are: Algeria with $196.3 million, Pakistan with $188.2million and Lebanon with $141.2 million. The debts accounted for 68.0% of blocked funds.


While warning that rapidly rising levels of blocked funds are a threat to airline connectivity in the affected markets, the IATA DG declared: “Airlines cannot continue to offer services in markets where they are unable to repatriate the revenues arising from their commercial activities in those markets. Governments need 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”.



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IATA 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. IATA represents some 300 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic.