In August 2022, Dubai’s Emirates Airlines cut all flights to Nigeria because the Nigerian government did not allow the carrier to withdraw their money from the Nigerian bank account and change it into convertible currency to wire it back to Dubai.
This situation has not gotten better, but worse.
The top five countries account for 68.0% of blocked funds. These comprise:
- Nigeria ($812.2 million)
- Bangladesh ($214.1 million)
- Algeria ($196.3 million)
- Pakistan ($188.2 million)
- Lebanon ($141.2 million)
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that rapidly rising blocked fund levels threaten airline connectivity in the affected markets. The industry’s blocked funds have increased by 47% to $2.27 billion in April 2023 from $1.55 billion in April 2022.
Governments need to work with industry to resolve this situation so airlines can continue providing the connectivity vital to driving economic activity and job creation,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
“Airlines cannot continue to offer services in markets where they cannot repatriate the revenues arising from their commercial activities in those markets.
IATA urged governments to abide by international agreements and treaty obligations to enable airlines to repatriate these funds from selling tickets, cargo space, and other activities.