Abderahmane Berthé, Secretary General, African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and Raphael Kuuchi, Director Government, Legal, and Industry Affairs, AFRAA met Dieudonné Murengerantwari, Governor, Bank of the Republic of Burundi earlier this week for the release of blocked airline funds in Burundi.

"AFRAA leadership was accompanied by various representatives of AFRAA member airlines with operations in Burundi that are impacted by the blocked funds situation including Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, RwandAir, and Uganda Airlines," says an official release.

The central bank committed to facilitate the repatriation of the proceeds of airlines’ sales, the release added. "AFRAA appreciates the Burundi Central Bank Governor’s and his team’s openness to come up with practicable solutions to remedy the situation very soon."

Berthe says: “AFRAA calls upon governments to consider aviation as a priority sector and reduce the level of blocked funds.”

The issue of blocked funds in many countries is challenging for African airlines, and AFRAA has established a Blocked Funds Task Force with some member airlines to engage with the concerned states to unlock the funds, the release added.

Total blocked funds reported by six airlines in 15 countries (13 in Africa and two outside Africa) is approximately $339 million at the end of March 2023, according to data released by AFRAA.

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