Ethiopia suspends Ethiopian Airlines privatization

The Ministry of Finance of Ethiopia said it has suspended the partial privatization of the fully state owned Africa’s most profitable aviation group – Ethiopian Airlines.

This is indicated by the Minister of Finance of Ethiopia Ahmed Shide this afternoon at a press conference. “With the currency efficiency and competitiveness, the plan of the government is to make Ethiopian airlines more strong…We have decided to delay the partial privatization of Ethiopian Airlines,” he said, indicating that Ethiopian Airlines is a well-managed and profitable state enterprise even during the global pandemic coronavirus.

“Maintaining the current capacity of Ethiopian Airlines Group is more beneficiary for the economy”, according to Minister Ahmed Shide, who mentioned the huge investments Ethiopian Airlines Group has made in expansion of airports, cargo services, hotel and catering services. Recently Ethiopian Airlines Group has announced making profit in the face of coronavirus mainly from cargo services converting about 25 aircrafts into cargo.

The plan to partially privatize Ethiopian Airlines Group was announced a few years ago when the country was in severe shortage of financial liquidity and hard currency.

In a related development, Minister Ahmed also indicated that in relation to providing dry port services, the Government of Ethiopia has opened its doors partially for foreign investors and the private sector for the first time to be engaged in the sector.

During the first quarter the current budget year of Ethiopia starting July 8, 2020, the country has earned $499.5 million from export of goods, according to Minister Ahmed. He also stated that the country has also collected 80.8 billion Birr taxes in three months period.