IATA Billing and Settlement Plan to go live in Sierra Leone from August 1
Sierra Leone became the latest African country to accede to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) June 21, with settlements scheduled to start from August 1, 2023. The development was announced at the tail end of the IATA Focus Africa Conference that was held in the Ethiopian capital from June 20-21.
The BSP is a global system that facilitates the financial transactions between airlines and travel agencies. It is designed to simplify and secure the selling, reporting, and remitting procedures of IATA-accredited travel agents.
Kamil Alawadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice President Africa and Middle East, said the launch of the BSP in Sierra Leone was a significant milestone for the country’s aviation industry, which would deliver efficiency gains and add transparency to air travel transactions in the country. It will also provide a more secure and reliable payment system for airlines and travel agents and contribute to the overall growth of aviation and the economy.
“Accelerating the implementation of secure, effective, and cost-efficient financial services is a key pillar of IATA’s Focus Africa initiative. The launch of the BSP in Sierra Leone is a testament to our commitment to supporting the growth and modernization of aviation across Africa,” said Alawadhi.
The BSP is a global system with operations in some 180 countries and territories, over 40 of which are in Africa and the Middle East. The system currently serves more than 57,000 travel agencies and 344 participating airlines with an on-time settlement rate of 99.9pc. In 2022, IATA’s BSP processed $157.58 billion globally.
“The launch of the BSP in Sierra Leone is a win-win for the country’s aviation industry,” said Alawadhi. “It will benefit airlines, travel agents, and passengers alike,” said Alawadi.
Over the past two days, IATA has been engaging airlines and regulators in an effort to get them to buy into a minimum set of collaborative actions that will improve the performance of Africa’s aviation in the areas of safety, connectivity and sustainability.