Ethiopia: Repatriation Woes Leave Airlines Discontented

Forex crunch pushes 12 African countries, including Ethiopia, to withhold $1 billion

Leading African national airlines are unable to repatriate sales revenues, resulting in capital constraints.

About 12 African countries, including Ethiopia, are unable to pay airlines’ sales revenue, amounting to USD one billion.

– Advertisement -The airlines owe blocked funds primarily to African countries that are experiencing foreign currency shortages.

Ethiopia is among the African nations that owe air carriers sales revenues in foreign currency.

During the 11th African Airlines Association (AFRAA) stakeholders convention, which took place on May 8 and 9 in Addis Ababa at the Ethiopian Airlines Group-owned Skylight hotel, Dalmas Okendo, Kenya Airway’s head of regulatory affairs and investor relations, said that “some elephants are too big to ignore, and blocked funds are one of them.”

“We continue to increase our capacity and fly to more places. But how can we continue increasing our capacity when our money is not paid back? The money is stuck there. We could not bring the money back,” Okendo said.

Nigeria, Malawi, Ethiopia, Burundi, and Zambia are among the nations that have not paid the Kenyan airlines, according to Okendo.

In an interview with The Reporter, Raphael Kuuchi, director of government legal and industry affairs at AFRAA, stated that the issue of blocked funds has become a significant obstacle for African airlines. It is regrettable, he says, and that it has been so difficult for the countries to release this money.