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Air fares in Sudan soar due to currency's devaluation

Staff Writer |
Air fares in Sudan skyrocketed after aviation authorities ordered airlines to price tickets in line with a new exchange rate mechanism that sharply devalued the local currency.

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Under the exchange regime introduced in October in a bid to tackle an acute shortage of foreign currency, the Sudanese pound was devalued to 47.5 per U.S. dollar from 29 pounds per U.S. dollar previously.

That has led to a surge in the cost of many goods and services, but air ticket prices had been set according to the customs exchange rate - 18 pounds per dollar - until Wednesday when the country's Civil Aviation Authority announced the hike in a memo sent to airlines.

The order caused prices to jump about 66 percent, according to travel agencies' estimates. Prices in dollars were not affected, but only foreigners and Sudanese residents of other countries may buy tickets in dollars.

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