Eritrea’s inability to issue foreign currency has led to the blockage of $73 million belonging to four airlines who commute to Asmara, the Eritrean capital. The affected airlines are Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Fly Dubai, and Ethiopian Airlines. These airlines cannot remit ticket sales to their home bases, because of foreign currency shortages at the Eritrean central bank.
The Horn of Africa nation is just one of five countries jointly blocking $413 million in airline funds. Zimbabwe is the biggest blocker at $192 million, followed by Sudan and Algeria with $84 and $80 million respectively. Angola is holding on to $7 million.
This is a global problem, but more African countries are taking turns blocking funds. Angola, for instance, owed more than $620 million last year. Egypt and Nigeria also had to be lobbied to release airline funds, about $251 million in the latter’s case. According to Muhammad Ali Albakri, IATA’s regional vice president for Africa and the Middle East, “We put out the fire in some places and it flares up in another place. It seems a never-ending issue.
The importance of these funds cannot be overemphasized. Cash flow is a lifeline to the airlines. If these Click here to read entire article
Source:: Ventures Africa