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IATA says blocked airline funds by countries including Pakistan threaten connectivity

  • Pakistan is among the top five nations in the world that have blocked airline funds
Published June 5, 2023

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade body of global airlines, has warned that rapidly rising levels of blocked funds by countries including Pakistan are a threat to airline connectivity in the affected markets.

IATA, in a press release on Sunday, said Pakistan has blocked $188.2 million of airline funds for repatriation. The association represents some 300 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic.

As per IATA, Pakistan is among the top five nations in the world that have blocked airline funds. The body said that the top five account for 68% of overall blocked funds.

Other countries on the list are Nigeria, Bangladesh, Algeria, and Lebanon which have blocked $812 million, $214.1 million, $196.3 million, and $141.2 million respectively.

“Airlines cannot continue to offer services in markets where they are unable to repatriate the revenues arising from their commercial activities in those markets,” “ said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

“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,” he added.

IATA urged governments to abide by international agreements and treaty obligations to enable airlines to repatriate funds arising from the sale of tickets, cargo space, and other activities.

Earlier in March, the IATA had warned that Pakistan had become “very challenging” to serve as carriers were struggling to repatriate dollars, while $290 million remained stuck in the crisis-hit country since January.

Last year in December, IATA had said that Pakistan had blocked $225 million of airline funds for repatriation. Even back then, the country was among the top markets where airline funds had been blocked from repatriation.

While the amount of funds has varied over time, difficulty in repatriating profits stems from a severe dollar crisis in Pakistan that is scrambling to arrange foreign currency inflow.

It is engaged in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for revival of its bailout programme, stuck at the ninth review since November last year.

Its foreign exchange reserves with the central bank sit at nearly $4.09 billion as of May 26, the latest data available, and not enough to cover a month of imports.


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Maqbool Jun 05, 2023 12:17pm
IATA is being unfair on fares, $290m was stuck in March and this has already been reduced to $188m now, a substantial reduction . Give Pakistan a break .
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Hilarious Jun 05, 2023 02:06pm
@Maqbool , why? Why do Pakistanis feel they deserve a break or in this case “special rules” for a mess they created due to rampant corruption and mismanagement over the years by both the people and all institutions alike? That is not how international trade, business in general or international affairs work, might work in your with your local dukandaar though. As far as fares are concerned, they’re not unfair, they operate on a supply and demand basis and are very fair still when looked at in terms of US$ or any other credible foreign currency, fares seem high to you because the Pakistani rupee has depreciated significantly over the past 3 years and you’ve lost purchasing power because of it.
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Shahid Jun 05, 2023 03:07pm
Ask Zardari and Shariffs and the Generals to bring back money parked overseas!
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Maqbool Jun 05, 2023 03:32pm
@Hilarious, obviously just another disconnect Overseas Pak
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Hilarious Jun 05, 2023 07:54pm
@Maqbool, a very poor assessment. The only disconnection that exists is with the realities that surround us and the hopes and aspirations of Pakistan and in turn a majority of the citizens.
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Hilarious Jun 05, 2023 08:09pm
@Maqbool, It is sad to see fellow countrymen and women fall towards populist ideas and narratives and end up significantly poorer in the process, intellectually and financially. There is a difference what you want to be true and what is true.
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Tulukan Mairandi Jun 05, 2023 08:14pm
Pakistan should be Sanctioned
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Rizwan Jun 05, 2023 11:30pm
It makes no sense to lash out at Pakistanis, this is after all Pakistan. If you forget how painful the transition has been since Independence then that's okay to blame everyone. At some point Pakistans Finance Minister setup a 5 year plan for S.Korea and because the establishment wanted it, they adopted it. S. Korea is in a similar situation compared to Pakistan, but a legitimate government rose from the ashes of the US inflicted war. It was not the general public that rose up. In fact the US was opposed to the rise of S. Korea and continues to undermine it. But they deal with it diplomatically and with a generally honest and cohesive establishment.
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