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Pakistan blocking $399mn of airline revenues: IATA

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Salah Uddin
Salah Uddin
Salahuddin serves as ARY News' aviation correspondent

KARACHI: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on Pakistan and Bangladesh to immediately release airline revenues that are being held in contravention of international agreements.

“The situation has become severe with airlines unable to repatriate over $720 million ($399 million in Pakistan and $323 million in Bangladesh) of revenues earned in these markets,” read a statement issued by IATA.

“The timely repatriation of revenues to their home countries is critical for payment of dollar denominated expenses such as lease agreements, spare parts, overflight fees, and fuel.

“Delaying repatriation contravenes international obligations written into bilateral agreements and increases exchange rate risks for airlines. Pakistan and Bangladesh must release the more than $720 million that they are blocking with immediate effect so that airlines can continue to efficiently provide the air connectivity on which both these economies rely,” said Philip Goh, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific.

Pakistan should simplify the onerous process for repatriation. This currently includes the requirement to provide audit certificates and a tax exemption certificate, both of which cause unnecessary delays, it added.

Prior to COVID-19, Pakistan’s aviation sector supported around 425,000 jobs and $2.8 billion in economic activity. Passenger numbers recovered to pre-COVID levels in 2023, and are expected to grow by more than 2.5 times by 2040, the statement read.

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