Ethiopian Airlines has no plans to suspend service to China

FILE PHOTO: Workers service an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane at the Bole International Airport in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Phot

(CGTN Africa) — The CEO of Ethiopia’s flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Tewolde Gebremariam on Wednesday said stopping flights to China is not a solution to fight novel coronavirus.

Speaking at the 5th Africa Aviation conference being held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Gebremariam said the novel coronavirus transmission won’t be prevented by stopping direct flights to China.

“Flying direct to China doesn’t mean we will stop novel coronavirus, because passengers from China can travel to African countries including Ethiopia through various other hubs. That’s what the interconnected world means.”

Tewolde Gebremariam, Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, speaks to The Associated Press at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP)

“As per the directive of the World Health Organization (WHO), stopping flights isn’t the answer. Isolating China because it has novel coronavirus outbreak isn’t fair,” said Gebremariam.

However, the ET CEO admitted the novel coronavirus disease is a major headache for Africa’s largest airlines with more than 120 international destinations.

“We’ve seen a 20 percent decline in demand. It’s a big shock, but aviation is used to this kind of shock. Diseases, natural disasters, wars, sudden spikes in oil prices, we’re used to it.”

Mr. Gebremariam’s comments come as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) projected a $29 billion hit to the global aviation industry – a 4.7% industry-wide drop in revenue per passenger – as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The IATA says African air carriers could see a potential $40 million loss.

That could be a devastating blow to struggling airlines that need lucrative Chinese routes to fund expansion.

On Tuesday, Kenya halted direct flights from Italy’s northern cities of Verona and Milan, which usually head to the Kenyan coast. Northern Italy has seen Europe’s biggest cluster of coronavirus cases.

Last month, Kenya Airways and RwandAir suspended all flights to and from China until further notice.

Similar Articles

Comments

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

OMN: ODUU GALGALAA (GURRAANDHALA 20, 2020)

OMN: ODUU GALGALAA (GURRAANDHALA 20, 2020)

Ethnic cleansing continued in Oromia Regional State by Abiy Ahmed

Ethnic cleansing continued in Oromia Regional State by Ethiopian government lead by Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia July 10, 2020 The Right Honourable Justin...

New Book: የተጠለፈ ትግል (The hijacked revolution) in pdf

Book: የተጠለፈ ትግል (The hijacked revolution) in PDF Via Aba Orma, September 3, 2019 የተጠለፈ ትግል (The hijacked revolution) Author: Mudhin Siraj Pages: 152 Language: Amharic Year: July 2019 To...

21 million Chinese died of coronavirus – US intelligence officials intercept data

21 million Chinese died of coronavirus – US intelligence officials intercept data By James Alami (Web Archive) -- A new data intercepted by the United States...

BBC Afaan Oromoo: ODUU Owwituu, Amajjii 27, 2020

BBC Afaan Oromoo: ODUU Owwituu, Amajjii 27, 2020