AT Air Algeria, in this period of crisis, no question of putting the small dishes in the big ones. The functions of Lazhar Hani, Minister of Transport, Bakhouche Alleche, CEO of Air Algérie, as well as the head of catering within the national company were terminated. “This decision was taken following the initiation of an import operation by the national company Air Algeria of supplies linked to the catering activity, without taking into account the national economic context and financial orientations. aiming at the rational management of foreign exchange and the priority to be given to national production ”, indicates a press release from the Prime Minister. According to El Watan, the import would concern porcelain tableware intended for business class on international flights, an operation carried out at a time when Air Algeria, already in chronic deficit, suspended its activity outside the country.
The lack of foreign currency is a recurring problem for Air Algérie. In air transport, the majority of cost items (planes, engines, spare parts, insurance, etc.) are in dollars or euros. Only fuel, here, is not concerned at 50%, because the full stopover outside Algeria is paid in dollars. Ten years ago, the company narrowly escaped the European blacklist. Aircraft maintenance was neglected and maintenance operations postponed for lack of foreign currency credits to acquire parts. Aircraft availability suffered as a result, prompting many flight cancellations.
Do a few thousand euros of porcelain justify the dismissal of the Minister of Transport, or even that of the CEO of a company? A conflict of interest is raised knowing that Lazhar Hani and his family are active in the field of maritime transport, a shareholder in the Algerian subsidiary of Spanish logistics Romeu Algeria, and that of Green Algeria of Taiwanese Evergreen Marine Corp.
Elected officials also criticize the “disastrous course of repatriation flights and the return of almost empty planes”. 25,000 Algerian nationals stranded abroad are still waiting to reach the country.