Though blessed with natural and manmade resources, Ethiopia has been suffering from myriads of internal and external pressures that hindered benefits from its resources. The reality to be the only African country that has not been bowed down to colonizers may put it at the position of improper pressure especially from some of the western countries. When the civilization and the development are concerned, Ethiopia has built its civilization by the hands of its citizens. Name it Axum, Lalibela, Tiya or the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD); all are built by the sweat and blood of Ethiopians.
History has taught the entire world that Ethiopia has been the pioneer in several aspects including the establishment of United Nations and African Union. In the past, Ethiopia has tried to build its power and to keep its sovereignty despite there were different powerful countries that had attempted to conquer it.
In order to achieve government’s ambitious plan to make Ethiopia a middle-income country by 2025, Ethiopians living in and abroad are working in shoulder to shoulder with the government and all stake holders. In this regard Ethiopian Airlines takes the lion’s share in promoting Ethiopia to the entire world, particularly offering different alternatives for investors to visit Ethiopia amid the outbreak of COVID-19.
Different documents indeed revealed the uniqueness of Ethiopia for its Coffee, land of origin, and long distance running famous athletes among others. Yet, the Ethiopian Airlines is the one which is different from the others in promoting Ethiopia to the international community coupled with serving as a source of foreign currency for the country.
The Ethiopian Airlines is a company that changed the perception of the world with its preferable services for its passengers with about 75 years of experience through living its motto of ‘Bringing Africa Together and Beyond’.
In many ways, the Ethiopian Airlines is the first in Africa to introduce new aircraft technologies and systems along with acquiring new air planes. In the past decade, the Ethiopian Airlines has been contracted different agreements with different companies. The Airlines agreed with Scandinavian Airlines which is one of the founding members of Star Alliance in 2010. Besides, it has administrated different centers including the aviation school.
Above all, the Ethiopian Airlines has shown its support and quality of service during the COVID-19 pandemic. As per this, the Airlines was the only African service provider to transport doses of vaccine. It has transported 50 million doses of vaccine to more than 28 countries across the globe. The Ethiopian cargo and logistics service which is Africa’s largest cargo service provider has distributed the vaccines to different countries with its technologically equipped facility called ‘Pharma Wing’ successfully.
Undoubtedly Ethiopia is under internal and external pressure following the brutal act by the terrorist TPLF. Accordingly, different groups are trying to make negative influence on the economic, social and political spheres of the country.
As an illustration the Ethiopian airlines has been accused of many military related allegations including transporting war armament, transportation of wildlife, and even a false report from SUNA (Sudan News Agency) regarding transporting weapon to Sudan. These allegations were made and posted irresponsibly on different international and social media with a hoarded agenda of defaming the airline’s name and success.
In response to the above false accusations, the Ethiopian Airlines has released its firm stance denouncing the accusation. Therefore, the Airlines said that it has nothing to do with transporting illegal materials. Besides, it has never transported any war armament either in its international or domestic flights. In many occasions, the Airlines has proved itself by following legal and international procedures, rules and regulations for transporting wildlife to any corner of the world.
Not only the African based media like SUNA but also one of the Western’s CNN has broadcasted false allegations about the well-known African airlines. The media correspondent Nima Elibagir has recently reported misinformation that the Ethiopian government has used the airlines to transport war armaments from Ethiopia to Eritrea in related with the war in the Northern part of Ethiopia.
More surprisingly, the Medea has invited an aviation analyst on the already aired program and the analyst debunked the report on the Ethiopian Airlines on smuggling of war armament. The aviation analyst exposed that the report from their staff member, Nima Elibagir was completely false. The analyst also explained that it is legal to use civilian aircrafts during the time of emergencies.
Furthermore, the Ethiopian Airlines has released its statement on the allegation saying, “Ethiopian Airlines strongly refutes the recent allegations by CNN and would like to confirm that to the best of its knowledge and its records, it has not transported any war armament in any of its routes by any of its Aircraft.
The mentioned air waybills in the CNN article clearly show that the nature of goods transported on the alleged flights was “Food stuff and Refill” as declared on the document as per IATA standards. The alleged pictures are not known to Ethiopian Airlines.”
Again, unlike with the allegations raised by different media outlets, the Ethiopian flagship hasn’t stopped achieving better in any field of aviation. The Ethiopian Airlines has been honored with four awards at the SKYTRAX 2021 World Airline Awards including the best in African Airlines, the best business and economy classes in Africa, and the best cabin crew as well.
The Ethiopian Airlines is the best air transport service provider in Africa. It has also proven itself by its achievements that escalate its grace throughout the world. Based on the previous involvements, it is crystal clear that several international media have been part of defaming the efforts of the country in all aspects in general by reporting false claims.
Time will be the best medicine to clear what has been vague. It is also true that everything posted on the internet is a fact or report based on truth. Even though there have been challenges like this, the Ethiopian Airlines has been a pride for Ethiopia and Africa as well. Its brand and success tell many stories about how it becomes one of the fastest-growing airline service providers across the world.
It is to be recalled that Ethiopian Airlines ended 2020 fiscal year with profit due to its ‘agility’. Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, said the company “demonstrated agility, quick decision-making and resilience that have helped” in the face of falling passenger traffic, which, in Africa, registered a 69% drop in 2020 compared to figures from the previous year.
“By the start of May 2021, Ethiopian Airlines had transported more than 20 million doses of vaccine to more than 20 countries,” says Chiedza Madzima, a research and operational risk manager at Fitch Solutions.
“Ethiopian is also developing an in-house dry-ice manufacturing facility that will seek to address the need for additional coolants and ultra-cold environments for the storage and transport of vaccines.” Madzima pointed out that these developments “will also provide long-term benefits for the development of domestic and regional cold chains – benefitting sectors such as horticulture, agribusiness and healthcare”.
Ethiopian Airlines, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is one of the only three airlines in the world to have made a profit in 2020 (fiscal year ending in June), it was learnt. According to some anonymous sources, the TPLF terrorist with its affiliates is attacking the Ethiopian Air Lines to hit the nation’s economy indirectly.
BY DANIEL ALEMAYEHU
THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD OCTOBER 19/2021