Ethiopian Federal government authorities or TPLF officials gave no explanation why Mekelle-Addis Ababa flights is restricted to certain age group
Youth passengers from Mekelle are reportedly restricted from flying to Addis Ababa. The report emerged on Monday this week but the restriction started Friday last week.
Passengers who bought a ticket more than a week ago are not allowed on board the Addis Ababa bound flight.
Mulugeta Yibrah, 32, told VOA Amharic that he bought a ticket for 4350 birr about a week ago but is now not allowed to fly. The reason is unclear, he said. Passengers who paid double were not allowed to.
Hafay Gebre, who is 50, said he traveled to Mekelle about ten days ago when the flight resumed and now is not allowed to return to Addis Ababa. “We are not clear why we are not allowed to fly,” he said. Unclear to him whether it is the authorities in Tigray or the Federal government that introduced the restriction.
Based on the report, the restriction is based on age. Those who are between 16 and 65 years of age are not flying. However, individuals with medical conditions are allowed but will have to produce evidence.
Federal government communication services did not give any explanations as to why the restriction was introduced and how long it will be in place.
The airline is not giving any explanation either. What is known is that the airlines have declined to refund money to passengers with the advisory that they can use it once the restriction is lifted.
A VOA Amharic reporter in Mekelle cited a security authority in the airport, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that the restriction is only temporary.
The restriction does not seem to have anything to do with security arrangements in Addis Ababa.
Over 30,000 passengers have reportedly purchased tickets from Ethiopian Airlines since flights resumed last month.
Last month, Ethiopian Airlines resumed flights to Mekelle and other major towns in the Tigray region after nearly two years. The government decision came after a peace agreement with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that was signed in Pretoria South Africa in early November 2022.
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