British Airways (Reuters)
Egypt is stopping the sale of air tickets for routes starting and ending outside the country as of next week, the aviation ministry said on Thursday, in a bid to help ease an acute shortage of foreign currency in recent months.
The new measure comes after "a significant increase from the normal rates of the sales" of such tickets by some local travel agencies that has been noticed recently, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry has made the decision to stop any attempt to make use of the difference between the dollar's official price and that of the black market, but did not elaborate.
Ministry's officials contacted by Ahram Online were not immediately available for comment.
The decision will come in to effect as of 5 October and will continue to be in place for a year.
Egypt is facing an acute dollar shortage that sent its foreign reserves down, with a widening gap between official and black market rates that has increased pressure to devalue the currency.
In recent months, many banks reduced its foreign currency's withdrawal and purchasing limits through cash dealings for local debit and credit cards.