KHARTOUM, Sudan – An unidentified foreign airline company has communicated to its employees in Sudan that it will cease operations in the East African nation by early January, according to a newspaper report.
Al-Khartoum daily newspaper said that up to 15 foreign carriers are also considering pulling out of Sudan as a result of the central bank restrictions on repatriation of its profits.
The central bank undertook these measures to battle chronic Forex shortages that followed the secession of the oil-rich south in July 2011.
Those carriers also complain about the continuous fluctuation in the exchange rate and the increase in fuel prices which eats into its profit.
The daily further said that nine local carriers have stopped operations due to competition by foreign ones which forced them out of business.
The Deputy Secretary General of the Chamber of the National Air Transport Omar Ali Abdul-Magid said that national companies controlled than 60%-70% of market share but have dropped to less than 14% as more foreign carriers started operating in the country over the years.
Abdul-Magid said that this created added pressure on Sudan central bank which is unable to allow all these carriers to send their profits abroad leading them to consider pulling out.
He warned that this non-conducive environment which hit all carriers threatens to limit options available to Sudanese passengers.
The chairman of Khartoum-based Marsland Aviation Rasheed Azim Ortashi said that he previously warned the government on the bleak outlook for airline industry in Sudan but without response.
Ortashi said that Marsland Aviation have decided to halt operations over fuel prices and exchange rates.
Since the secession of South Sudan a large number of United Nations and aid groups have left Sudan which negatively impacted these carriers.
Last March, KLM stopped flying to Sudan due to weak demand.