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Pressure Mounts on Ethiopian Airlines to Halt Flights to China

Africa's largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines, is bucking the trend and continuing to maintain its direct flight schedule to the five cities it serves in Mainland China, despite concerns that it could help to transmit the highly contagious coronavirus. Photo via Ethiopian Airlines.

Ethiopian Airlines appears to be stubbornly holding on to its flight operations between China and Addis Ababa, while almost all other African carriers have halted flights to China due to the spiraling coronavirus epidemic. Ethiopian Airlines is Africa’s largest airline, operating daily flights to five Chinese cities, carrying as many as 1,500 passengers per day.  This is why many are becoming increasingly concerned over the airline’s apparent unwillingness to temporarily cease operations to minimize the risk of widening the pandemic.

Here’s What Both Sides Have to Say About Ethiopian Airlines’ Refusal to Stop Flying to China

  • CRITICS: The airline is taking a beating in online forums, particularly on Twitter, where a lot of people feel that the company is behaving irresponsibly given that it serves the entire continent and could potentially endanger a number of African countries that lack the necessary resources to combat a coronavirus outbreak.
  • THE AIRLINE: The company isn’t saying very much about why it continues to fly to China while all other African carriers except Air Algérie have suspended their routes. Ethiopian Airlines issued a brief statement on Twitter and subsequently on its website, saying the airline is acting in compliance with WHO, CDC and IATA guidelines to ensure passenger and crew safety.

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