According to International Air Transport Association(IATT), Pakistan have blocked a whopping $225 million in airlines’ repatriation funds. According to the statement issued by the global air association, more than 27 countries and territories are blocking funds from repatriation. Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, said, “Preventing airlines from repatriating funds may appear to be an easy way to shore up depleted treasuries, but ultimately the local economy will pay a high price. No business can sustain providing service if they cannot get paid and this is no different for airlines.”
Countries Blocking Airlines’ Repatriation Funds
The International Air Transport Association represents around 83 per cent of the global air traffic and represents around 300 airlines. In a recent statement, it said that the amount of airline funds for repatriation being blocked by governments has risen by more than 25 percent (USD 394 million) in the last six months.
Pakistan stood among the top markets where airline funds have been blocked; Nigeria tops the list with USD 551 million of blocked funds, followed by Pakistan and Bangladesh coming in the third position with USD 208 million. The other countries to feature in this list are Lebanon (USD 144 million) and Algeria (USD 140 million).
Second High-profile Payment Drama After Blocking Payments via DCB
The State Bank of Pakistan has recently withdrawn authorization of direct carrier billing (DCB) for cellular mobile operators, as the telcos allowed their customers to purchase the products through airtime and then remit funds abroad, reflecting such transactions as payments for the acquisition of IT-related services. Later, the IT minister jumped in to avert the situation and took time for the telcos to implement the new payment procedure in line with the instructions of the SBP. He said, “The central bank has also been directed to put off the latest policy about payments for paid services of Google Play Store for one month.”