Ethiopian Airlines Group, Africa’s largest carrier, has started operating flights with fully vaccinated crew against COVID-19 to keep travelers safe in light of the pandemic. Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam said “We are pleased to operate flights with fully vaccinated crew – a significant step in protecting our employees’ and customers’ health safety. We are encouraged by the increasing number of passengers travelling for business, VFR and tourism supported by the confidence of vaccination across the world.”
“We have been squarely focused on working very hard to ensure the safety of our staff and passengers since the pandemic broke out and this is another testament to our continued commitment. We have bought and imported more than 37,000 vaccine shots for our employees and stakeholders.”
Ethiopian has been rigorously implementing COVID-19 precautionary measures including the launch of its own testing and isolation center and digitization of its operation among others. It has been at the forefront in the fight against the pandemic carrying essential medical supplies and vaccines across the globe as well as repatriating stranded people back to their home.
Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) is the fastest growing airline in Africa. In its seven decades of operation, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers. Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern African fleet. Ethiopian is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that will see it become the leading aviation group in Africa with seven business centers: Ethiopian Domestic and Regional Airline; Ethiopian International Passenger Airline; Ethiopian Cargo; Ethiopian MRO; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; Ethiopian In-flight Catering Services; and Ethiopian Ground Service. Ethiopian is a multi-award winning airline registering an average annual growth of 25% in the past seven years.
The carrier, regarded as the most profitable airline in Africa lost $550 million in 2020 because of international flight restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s CEO disclosed recently. GebreMariam said the revenue loss has caused the national carrier to cut 90% of international flights. “We are forced to fly to only 19 international destinations out of 110 destinations that the airline used to fly to pre-COVID 19 times,” local newsmaker Walta Information Center quoted Tewolde at a news conference. “Our cargo and maintenance services are doing well.” The international aviation industry has lost $52 billion, with Africa losing $4.2 billion, he said.
The virus originated in Wuhan, China in December, and has spread to at least 184 countries and regions. The epicenter has shifted to Europe, while China has largely come out of the crisis. It has infected more than 1.38 million people worldwide, while nearly 293,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. An excess of 78,200 patients have died. Despite the rising number of cases, most that become infected suffer mild symptoms and make a recovery.