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HomeNewsPrivate Airlines Get Permission To Operate Regular Domestic Flights In Ethiopia 

Private Airlines Get Permission To Operate Regular Domestic Flights In Ethiopia 

Experts in industry and private airlines owners do not seem to see meaning in it

Ethiopia Private Airlines - news
Image credit : Abyssinian Flight Services and Aviation Academy 

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Toronto – The Ethiopian government reportedly allowed private airlines to start regular operation for domestic flights. The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority on Wednesday  has sent out letters to 12  domestic flight operators, according to the VOA Amharic report published on Friday. 

The new regulation allows local airlines to operate passengers and cargo flights locally in addition to the chartered flights they are offering. 

There are, however, views that the permission on its own does not mean much, even not that beneficial. 

VOA Amharic said it spoke to Daniel Hailu, who is an aviation consultant, to remark about the situation. He is of the view that unless the government decision is backed by “other support” , it will not enable the airlines to launch regular domestic flights. As well, he noted that the decision from Ethiopia’s Aviation Authority is not supported by policy documents and not official. He thinks that private airlines  might hesitate to embark on regular service (passengers and cargo). Restricting private airlines to operate only domestic flights might not make them profitable, he added.  For the private airline industry to be successful, he said, it should be supported with policy and the airline needs to have all other privileges. 

Captain Solomon Gizaw, Abyssinia Flight Service Managing Director, says the airlines need capacity, in addition to the permission, to operate regular service. “To buy a used plane that is with sixty and seventy passengers carrying capacity requires eight to fifteen million dollars and regular flights require at least five to ten planes,” he said, highlighting that finance is one of the challenges.

“Fly domestic only” permission is not that useful to the airlines. They are citing multiples of challenges in the industry, according to Captain Solomon,  and that they need the government’s intervention.

The Ethiopian government has been deepening neoliberal policy agenda under the cover of “homegrown economic policy.”  Abiy Ahmed’s government partially privatized the Telecom sector in the country a few years ago and this year it has introduced regulations to allow foreign investors to invest in the banking industry and own land (and property).  

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