Ethiopia suspends plan to privatise national carrier

The Government of Ethiopia has suspended plans to partially privatise Ethiopian Airlines, the country’s flag carrier, officials have announced.

The announcement was made by Ahmed Shide, the country’s Minister of Finance, during his presentation of the first quarter reports of Ethiopia’s fiscal year ended July 7, 2020

 

The government had two years ago announced the full or partial privatization of selected state-owned entities, including Ethio Telecom and Ethiopian Airlines.

 

While addressing the media, minister Shide said, the airline has continued to generate much needed foreign currency for the country amid the pandemic.

 

The airline is one of the biggest companies the Ethiopian government pledged to partially open for privatisation.

But now, it says that Africa’s largest airline will remain in the hands of the government. “At least for the time being.”

The airline, which is currently Africa’s largest airline previously said it had lost more than $900m (£696m) in earnings from passenger flights during the pandemic.

However, officials noted that it was one of the few airlines across the world to stay relatively stable, largely due to a shift from passenger flights to cargo as countries closed their airspaces.

Statistics indicate that it changed 27 of its passenger planes into freight transportation

For instance the airline resumed flights to and from Kigali on August 1, flying at least daily.

Amid the global pandemic that crippled the global aviation and tourism industry, Ethiopian Airlines generated annual revenue of $3.3 billion during the Ethiopian budget year that concluded on July 7, 2020.

eashimwe@newtimesrwanda.com

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