Ethiopian Airlines is already bracing for income loss of half a billion dollars and has axed most of its scheduled passenger flights. It is turning to cargo and charter operations to soften the blow, its CEO said. As we speak, Ethiopian Airlines has lost revenue of $550-million including April,” Tewolde Gebremariam told a press conference, adding that the company faced “a serious financial, operational and commercial crisis”.
In recent weeks Africa’s biggest carrier has distributed medical equipment across the continent, repatriated US Peace Corps volunteers stranded overseas and evacuated cruise ship employees from the US to their homes in Asia, Tewolde said.
Tewolde said the company would try to take advantage of demand for cargo operations — including for medical supplies — and would even remove seats from passenger jets, though he acknowledged that cargo accounts for only 15 percent of its revenue.
Ethiopian Airlines continues to fly to 19 passenger destinations, down from 110. Tewolde said he was confident the airline, which is state-owned, would weather the crisis without laying off any of its 13,000 regular employees, though he left open the possibility that it could ultimately need outside support to stay afloat. Our plan is to sustain and pass this crisis on our own, but if it is unfortunately prolonged beyond our imagination we’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” he said.
In other news – Soweto man who was heavily beaten by police & soldiers for staring at them while patrolling Speaks Out
Sipho Monaiwa, 33, from Protea South claims he was attacked for watching police and the army patrol on his street from his yard with his gates locked.
When the family went to the Protea Glen police station to lay a complaint yesterday they were turned back and allegedly told by police that they were in fact breaking the lockdown regulations by not being home. Read more