Despite successes even during times of economic downturn as observed in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the word, Ethiopian Airlines has been facing defamatory narratives from mainstream media in the west that appear to be motivated by business sabotage.
The latest one came from Bloomberg – among several other publishers. In a story published entitled “Only Plane Flying to Hong Kong Lands in Middle of Super Typhoon,” Bloomberg reported, on Friday, “An Ethiopian Airlines flight risked a rare landing during a super typhoon, becoming the only plane to touch down at Hong Kong airport on Friday evening as strong winds buffeted the city.”
The narrative has gained traction – based on conversations from social media. But the story does not seem to be accurate, at least.
In a statement from Ethiopian Airlines in response to the allegations of the Hong Hong Flight, it indicated that the flight was from Bangkok to Hong Kong and that the plane flew after getting weather forecast information that it would be safe for landing at Hong Kong. But the return flight was postponed for 24 hours after a change in weather forecast.
The statement from the airline is features below :
“Statement on Ethiopian flight ET608/31AUG Addis Ababa-Bangkok-Hong Kong
Ethiopian flight ET608 from Addis Ababa to Hong Kong via Bangkok landed at Hong Kong airport on September 1st at its scheduled arrival time. The flight departed from Bangkok after getting weather forecast information that the weather at Hong Kong would be safe for landing at the time of arrival. Accordingly, the flight proceeded and landed at Hong Kong since the weather conditions were within the normal range and after securing clearance from the Hong Kong airport ATC.
The Ethiopian Flight Dispatch team was aware of the Typhoon earlier and was following up the flight from planning up to all phases of the flight between Addis Ababa and Hong Kong, giving regular updates to the crew. The flight was operated in consideration of the weather forecast that indicated the Typhoon was far away from Hong Kong airport at the time of arrival of Ethiopian flight.
Hence, the report from some media which stated the flight landed at Hong Kong airport in the middle of the super Typhoon is absolutely incorrect. We would like to inform all that the flight landed at Hong Kong smoothly while the actual weather condition was within the acceptable limits. Later, the weather at Hong Kong deteriorated and the airport was closed for operation. As a result, the return flight ET609 was postponed by 24 hours.”
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