Ethiopian Airlines banned junior crew members from flying to North America

Threatened with the possibility of being short-staffed, Ethiopian Airlines is trying to reverse trends of defections by crew members.

Ethiopian Airlines - Nigeria
Source English Daily / File

borkena
February 3, 2018

Ethiopian Airlines reportedly banned junior crew members from flying to North America, specifically to the United States and Canada.

The Airlines decision came in the wake of spiraling defections of junior crew members to seek political asylum in those countries.

In December of 2017 alone, Twenty-one crew members refused to return home and are seeking asylum in the United States and Canada, according to local news source.

In what seems to be an additional measure to address the problem, the airlines reportedly raised the bar on required the financial amount of a guarantor, new hires apparently need to have one, to one million Birr(Ethiopian Currency), up by over 40 percent from what it used to be, five hundred and seventy thousand Ethiopian Birr. However, CEO of the airline denied the changes made to the financial requirement.

Ethiopian Airlines has twice a week flights to Toronto. It also has weekly flights to Washington DC and Los Angeles.

The Airlines has an ambitious service expansion plan and has been ordering aircrafts in addition to terminal expansion project in the capital Addis Ababa which entailed huge nigh interest borrowing from Chinese banks.

Yet, the airlines claim a profit well over six billion Ethiopian birr in the concluded year.

Ethiopian Airlines has signed many partnerships deals with several African countries, the latest being Zambia.

On the sidelines of African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, which concluded last week, twenty-three African countries signed Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) agreement which aims to avoid weekly restrictions in the number of flight frequency.

Ethiopian Airlines has its own pilot and crew training school in the capital Addis Ababa. However, given the high rate of defections, due to economic and political reasons, and service expansion, it is facing the challenges of being short staffed.




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