Mekelle and Shire Airports are said to be in good conditions – according to Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines is preparing to resume flights to the Tigray region of Ethiopia as the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) peace agreement signed in Pretoria, South Africa, earlier this month is entering implementation stages.
Ethiopian State Media cited Mesfin Tassew, the CEO, that the airline is preparing to resume regular flights to the region. Service to the region was interrupted for two years since the TPLF forces attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force in November 2020 – an incident which evolved into a full-fledged devastating two years war affecting Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions.
The resumption of flights to the region is expected to ease the delivery of humanitarian aid to the region, according to a report by Ethiopian News Agency.
The Tigray region is one of the areas in the country where Ethiopian Airlines had several flights before the outbreak of the war.
Mesfin Tassew sees the resumption of flights to the region as something that will have multifaceted benefits including easing aid delivery to the region.
Mr. Mesfin also said the airports in Mekelle and Shire are in good condition – an indication that the flight will resume sooner rather than later. However, no date for the resumption of flights is set.
However, the airport to Axum – one of the busiest tourist destinations in the country – does not seem to be in a condition for Ethiopian Airlines to resume flights soon. It sustained serious damages due to the war. Apart from being two thousand years old Obelisk, Axum is prominent for Zion Mariam Church which is said to have the Ark of the Covenant that was given to Moses in the Christian religious traditions.
The travel industry in Ethiopia was severely affected due to the two years war in the country. Apart from the loss of lives, the war brought about extensive damage to livelihood, property and infrastructures, especially in the Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions.
In an article published on Semafor, Olusegun Obasanjo, who was the chief peace mediator in the peace agreement between the Ethiopian government and TPLF, stated that as many as 600,000 people were killed in the war. The figure indicates only the number of people who were directly killed in battle. With the number of people killed due to the war situation in three regions in the country, the number of people killed is expected to be much higher.
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