Now, while we like to look at the brighter side of life – which is becoming increasingly difficult these days – the abyss that is Egypt’s economic crisis has been giving us sleepless nights, particularly with the news that German airline, Lufthansa, has announced this week that it will suspend all flights to Venezuela from June 18th citing the South American country’s continuing economic difficulties as the reason. Why does this matter? Well, because Egypt could well be next.
The problem is simple: Lufthansa are irked, lets say, by the country’s increased currency controls, as it can’t convert its earnings into dollars and send it back to the Mutterland. While the airline has said that it would look to resume flights between Germany and Venezuela in the future, the decision could be a foreshadowing for things to come for Egypt, whose own economic troubles look like they will get worse before they get better.
While things are decidedly worse in Venezuela, the Central Bank of Egypt’s devaluation of the Egyptian pound against the US dollar this year has served to further make Egypt a risk for multinationals. Airlines have already previously suspended flights to Egypt (albeit for other reasons) and many governments have issued travel warnings against travelling to these unpredictable shores.
If Lufthansa takes similar actions with flights to Egypt, it could set a dangerous precedent.
In conclusion, fingers crossed.
By Kalam El Qahaira