The total amount of funds blocked by governments to airlines fell by 7% in 2017, but IATA says that the $4.9 billion amount locked away is still too high.
Speaking during an address at the IATA annual general meeting in Sydney, chief executive and director general Alexandre de Juniac noted that $600 million of airline funds that had been blocked in Nigeria have been cleared, while in Angola there was was “$120 million of progress from a peak of over $500 million”.
However long-standing issues in Venezuela remain, with carriers blocked from repatriating $3.8 billion.
“We’re not giving up. But without a major shift in Venezuela’s political situation it is difficult to see this resolving in the short-term,” says de Juniac.
That aside, IATA says that $386 million remains blocked in Angola, $170 million in Sudan, $95 million in Bangladesh and $76 million in Zimbabwe.
De Juniac adds that the movement in Nigeria and Angola is encouraging, and the IATA hopes that “other states will also move quickly to address blocked funds.”
He also urges carriers to subscribe to IATA’s monthly repatriation report, which tracks key risk indicators, in an effort to prevent further fund blocking.