Zimbabwe has a shortage of hard currency, as they were banned from trading currencies in 2019 due to some of their changes in the banking and financial sectors. Since then, they have introduced a local currency, but is is significantly undervalued against hard currencies such as the U.S dollar or the Euro.
A lot of the businesses and companies who work with Zimbabwe want their money as hard currency, and since their own currency is extremely devalued, they choose to not convert the money to their own home currency.
This, in turn, has created a hoarding problem in Zimbabwe as they owe $51M to United Arab Emirates, and owes South African Airways approximately $7M.
“Our greatest threat in the last couple of years has been the devaluation of currencies and repatriation of funds. This has been massive for us,” stated Orhan Abbas, SVP of Commercial operations in Africa for Emirates. “We’ve lost a lot of money on those two areas.”
As of now, Zimbabwe is making investments in new aircrafts in the hopes that they will be able to increase passenger and charter operations to help cover their dues.