Clearing Airlines Blocked Funds is Critical – IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on the government of Ethiopia to act swiftly to clear the $95 million in airline funds blocked from repatriation to ensure the country’s connectivity is not threatened.

The ability to repatriate revenues is guaranteed in international agreements. All parties must abide by these agreements to keep the world connected by air. 

“The low allocation of USD to the aviation industry by the Ethiopian Government and Central Bank means that $95 million in airline funds are blocked in the country. This sends all the wrong signals and puts at risk the economic and social benefits that its global hub supports Ethiopia’s development with. Ethiopia must follow the global rules that it benefits from. It’s time for the government to work with industry to resolve this situation quickly,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

“Ethiopian Airlines is performing very well. Our current performance, in all parameters, indicates that our success will continue strong. We have recovered well from the impacts of the pandemic. By the end of this fiscal year, we expect to generate USD6.1 billion, this is a 20% growth compared to our last year’s performance. We will be transporting 13.7 million passengers which is also a 55% increase from same period last year.

While our operations and milestones continue to be persistent, we still have challenges regarding expatriating our accumulated funds in various countries. As of today, we have more than USD180 million stranded in several countries. Transferring funds remains a critical challenge for airlines,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Mr. Mesfin Tasew. 

“Ethiopia’s aviation industry is set to triple by 2040, with an average 6% growth in passenger traffic over the next 17 years. The Ethiopian government is uniquely positioned to stimulate SAF production, a move that would not only support the forecast surge in air travel but also trigger substantial job creation and boost the local economy. Ethiopia has the opportunity to take the lead, and in doing so, construct an aviation future that is as sustainable as it is successful,” said Walsh.

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