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Foreign Airlines React to FG’s $450m ticket revenue block

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The International Air Transport Association has expressed concern over the decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria to block foreign airlines from repatriating ticket sales revenue running to $450m (N188.6bn) into their respective countries.

Foreign Airlines React to FG's $450m ticket revenue block

Foreign Airlines React to FG’s $450m ticket revenue block

On Sunday, IATA, the Geneva-based trade organization that represents over 200 international carriers, held a press conference to commemorate the start of its 78th Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Doha, Qatar.

Kamil Al-Alawadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, said the Federal Government’s decision was regrettable, and that the development might harm Nigeria’s aviation industry.

Foreign airlines’ blocked funds in Nigeria rose from $208 million in the third quarter of last year to $283 million in the first quarter of this year.

thousands of employment, and the Nigerian government would be irresponsible to deny airlines the right to repatriate their earnings.

Al-Awadhi said he had made come to Nigeria to meet with government officials over the blocked funds but he had yet to get the government’s commitment on it.

He, however, said IATA officials would visit the country soon over the development.

The IATA VP said, “Nigeria needs to start reducing the backlog. The Central Bank of Nigeria was not forthcoming on the blocked funds. It is sad that Nigeria owes the bulk of the entire blocked funds. This is very unacceptable”.

“We heard that there is a shortage of dollars. It has been a hectic ride. We met with the Vice-President. We will keep checking. This is going to damage the image of the country. We are hoping that it will go down well. The figure is huge”.

According to him, the development is happening at a time carriers are coming out of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic which has affected carriers globally.

Al-Awadhi said the situation had forced airlines to get funds from their reserves to finance operations.

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