Business : Ethiopian Airlines poised to commence direct flight to Singapore

December 20,2016

An Ethiopian airliner - the stowaway reportedly had an airport staff badge
An Ethiopian airliner – the stowaway reportedly had an airport staff badge

Ethiopian Airlines is poised to commence direct flight to Singapore starting June 2017, it announced yesterday on its website. It plans to use ultra-modern Boing 787 for the non-stop flight from Ethiopia to Singapore.

Changi airport will be an addition to Ethiopian Airlines destination to its non-stop flights to Asia. Business Travelers from Africa seem to be one of the targets of Ethiopian Airlines and will partner with Singapore Airlines.

There were reports that Ethiopian Airlines struggled financially after popular protest across Ethiopia as tourism and business was negatively impacted by political instability that lasted for months.Many countries do still have active travel restrictions to Ethiopia.

Last week, Reuters reported that Ethiopian Airlines got $159 million loan from Africa Development Bank. Once the pride of all Ethiopians, there is now strong resentment among Ethiopians that Ethiopian Airlines has become a place where Ethiopians who are not from the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front ethnic group are discriminated against,harassed and abused. In fact, many now refer to it as Tigray Airlines. Tewolde Woldemedhin, CEO of EA who is from Tigray, denies that there is no discrimination in Ethiopian Airlines.

In 2014, an Ethiopian Airlines employee dared to stowaway in the hold of cargo carrier to seek asylum in Sweden. Same year, Ethiopian Airlines co-pilot Hailemedhin Abera hijacked Rome bound Ethiopian Airlines plane and diverted it to Switzerland to seek asylum. A considerable number of Ethiopians in the diaspora, mainly in North America, Europe and Australia, are campaigning for business boycott against Ethiopian Airlines.

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