Doha — Qatar Airways has joined several international carriers and reduced flights to the Sudanese capital Khartoum, from the end of March until further notice.
In a statement on its website, the airline said: "Due to commercial reasons, we regret to inform our partners and customers that Qatar Airways has suspended ticketing authority in the Sudan market." It said that the flight frequencies, degreased to five flights weekly from 3 February, will further decrease to three flights weekly, effective March 1.
The ongoing shortage of cash in Sudan coupled with hyperinflation has prompted several international airlines, including Kenya Airways, Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways, to taking bookings for tickets in Sudan because of Sudanese civil aviation's obligation for travel agencies not to sell tickets in US Dollars.
The inflation rate in Sudan rose to 44.29 per cent in February - a month-on-month rise of 1.93 per cent from January. The printing of new currency by the Central Bank of Sudan has been necessitated by hyperinflation, coupled with a chronic shortage of hard cash, which along with rising prices and a bread shortage, triggered the now ongoing Sudan uprising of popular protest in December 2018.
Since mid-December last year, Sudan has experienced ongoing popular protests that have spread to towns and cities across the country.
Dozens of civilians have been killed, hundreds injured, and unknown thousands detained as the Sudanese security forces routinely respond to peaceful protests with tear gas, batons, and live ammunition.
The Sudanese Professionals Association and the forces signatory to the Declaration of Freedom and Change - major movers behind the popular uprising and protests - confirmed their unwavering commitment to the unconditional step-down of Al Bashir and his regime, the dismantling of repressive institutions, and the handover of power to a transitional civilian national government.