Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Ethiopian CEO defends China flights, admits 20% decline in demand


Africa’s largest carrier Ethiopian Airlines has once again refused to cancel flights to China despite rising pressure following the spread of coronavirus outbreak.

Ethiopian Airlines’ CEO Tewolde Gebremariam reiterated on Wednesday that stopping flights to China was not the solution to fighting the spread of coronavirus. Despite mounting pressure, the CEO said there is no proof that isolating China would help contain the virus.

He stressed the need for screening and cooperation with Chinese authorities. Gebremariam confirmed that Ethiopian Airlines, like others, had been affected by the virus outbreak – citing a 20% decline in demand.

By contrast, other African air carriers including Kenya Air, RwandAir and Air Tanzania have all suspended flights to China.

African Airlines have lost $400m (£312m) since the outbreak of the coronavirus in China in February, according to the International Air Transport Association, IATA.