June 12, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The Eritrean government has stopped paying hard currency to international carriers servicing the Eritrean market, according to the Ethiopian Reporter.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the cash-stapped Eritrean government stopped paying various Airlines, totalling USD 73 million, as of March 31, 2019.
According to the Reporter, the central bank of Eritrea is unable to provide foreign currency to the international airlines due to the shortage of foreign currency.
The airlines affected include Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Fly Dubai and Ethiopian Airlines operating to Asmara.
Lufthansa and Qatar Airways have long stopped operation to Asmara, according to report.
Ethiopian Airlines is waiting to repatriate six million dollars from Asmara, according to the same report. “We have no intention of suspending our flights to Asmara. This is just a temporary problem,” a senior executive of Ethiopian Airlines told The Reporter.
Ethiopian Airlines resumed flight to Asmara in July 2018 after 20 years of suspension due to the conflict that erupted between the two countries in May 1998.
Eritrea is not alone. According to IATA, five African countries have blocked more than 413 million dollars to international airlines as of March 31, 2019.
According to IATA, Zimbabwe holds USD 192 million, Sudan 84 million, Algeria 80 million, Angola seven million, and Eritrea 73 million airlines funds.