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Ethiopian Airlines rues naira devaluation, inaugurates $55m e-commerce facility

The Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Mesfin Tasew, has said the devaluation of naira has affected the airline’s cash flow management but stated…

The Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Mesfin Tasew, has said the devaluation of naira has affected the airline’s cash flow management but stated that it has not affected passenger volume.

Tasew said this in an interview on the sidelines of the inauguration of a state-of-the-art e-commerce cargo terminal in its hub in Addis Ababa which is a $55m investment to facilitate the development of e-commerce in Ethiopia, Africa.

Daily Trust reports that foreign airlines have been facing serious challenges in Nigeria with regards to repatriating their ticket funds. While they sell tickets in dollars, they are expected to get the dollar equivalent for the purpose of repatriation to their home countries.

However, Tasew stated that the devaluation of naira which he described as extensive has affected cash management.

He said, “You are absolutely right that naira has been devalued extensively and that has affected our cash management because since we are not able to take out our money, which is accumulating in Nigerian banks and due to the devaluation, we lost some money in the exchange rate, but in terms of passenger volume, we didn’t see any negative impact so far.

The load is very good, Nigerians are still travelling abroad and they are using Ethiopian Airlines. The traffic volume is still at the same level. We didn’t feel it negatively.”

The GCEO hinted about replicating the e-commerce facility outside Addis Ababa, especially Nigeria, in the near future.

He said the inauguration of the e-commerce facility is a “significant breakthrough for the Ethiopian Group and the entire African economy.

“We have implemented high-end technologies in the infrastructure that revolutionise the way goods are transported and delivered in the e-commerce industry in Africa.

“Through this facility, Ethiopian Airlines paves the way for development of e-commerce services in Ethiopia and the African continent. Built on 15,000 square meters of area, the facility boasts a capacity to handle 150,000 tonnes annually.

“For the time being, we have set up this facility in Addis Ababa. This facility would serve the Nigerian people and its market. We will bring the e-commerce here and sort them, then, deliver them to our Nigerian customers. In the future, this is something to consider to set up a similar type of facility in Nigeria.”

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