The Government of Ethiopia disclosed that it has suspended the privatization of Ethiopian Airlines, the largest airline in Africa.
The government had two years ago announced the full or partial privatization of selected state-owned entities, including Ethio Telecom and Ethiopian Airlines.
Finance Minister Ahmed Shide said in his briefing to journalists today that the partial privatization of Ethio Telecom is well underway and the company will be privatized in three months.
However, he added that the government has decided to suspend the plan to privatize Ethiopian Airlines as the company’s competitiveness in the international market continues despite the outbreak of COVID-19 that has been seriously affecting the world’s economy.
Ethiopian is still one of the leading competent government entities in Africa, the minister noted.
Amid the global pandemic that crippled the global aviation and tourism industry, Ethiopian Airlines has generated annual revenue of 122.14 billion Birr (about 3.3 billion USD at current exchange rate) during the Ethiopian budget year that concluded on July 7, 2020.
The fully state-owned aviation group has managed to generate the revenue by diversifying its income streams, mainly by focusing on cargo businesses and chartered flights.
Hence, based on these existing realities, the government has decided to suspend the plan to privatize Ethiopian Airlines.