Foreign airlines’ trapped funds hit $783m – IATA

Bisola David
Bisola David
Why aviation industry hasn't recovered from pandemic losses - IATA

The International Air Transport Association has stated that as of August 2023, Nigeria accounts for $783 million of the airline industry’s blocked cash.

In a statement, the trade group said that the IATA’s regional vice president for Africa and the Middle East, Kamil Al Awadhi, conducted discussions with the Federal Government to fix the issue.

The Punch has previously reported that due to a persistent lack of foreign currency, foreign airlines operating in the country had been unable to repatriate their commercial revenue.

Part of the statement read, “Mr. Al Awadhi also met with Nigeria’s new Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, the Honourable Minister Festus Keyamo, during which he urged the new administration to consult with the industry more closely going forward while coming up with both immediate and long-term solutions for domestic and international carriers’ access to foreign exchange.

Nigeria accounts for $783 million of the restricted money for airlines as of August 2023.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s commitment to enhancing the infrastructure and service levels at Lagos’s Murtala Muhammad International Airport within a year has impressed the IATA, the statement claims.

It was mentioned that the IATA had voiced concerns regarding a variety of safety, security, and passenger service level issues at the Lagos airport last year.

According to the report, at a high-level meeting last Friday between IATA and FAAN, which was attended by the managing director and chief executive officer, FAAN, Kabir Mohammed, committed to accelerating improvements in these areas as part of a corrective action plan.

“We welcome FAAN’s commitment to upgrade Lagos airport,” said the regional vice-president of IATA for Africa and the Middle East, Kamil Al Awadhi. It must keep up with demand as the primary internal and international hub connecting Nigeria with the rest of Africa and beyond.

“This strategic focus benefits Nigeria’s broader economic and social development in addition to the aviation industry. IATA is prepared to provide the FAAN with expertise to ensure that the corrective action plan complies with international standards.

“Security, efficiency, and safety infrastructure are critical for a well-functioning air transport system. So is the ability of airlines to have access to the revenues they generate in Africa.“

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