Global airline revenue of $1.2 bn blocked across Africa -IATA

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KIGALI, Nov 13  – The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday.

The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies.

The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to repatriate their dollar profits in full.

At an aviation meeting in the Rwandan capital, IATA’s Vice President for Africa, Raphale Kuuchi, said that airlines were in talks with “a few governments to unblock airline funds”. He did not specify the companies were affected.

“To do business effectively, airlines must be able to reliably repatriate their revenues,” Kuuchi said. “And that’s not the case in nine African countries: Angola, Algeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan and Zimbabwe.”

Of the total of $1.2 billion, Angola has blocked the largest amount, $500 million, while Sudan has held up $200 million, another IATA official, Adefunke Adeyemi, told Reuters.

Last year Nigeria owed airliners $600 million but as of October the amount had fallen to $221 million, she said.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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