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Ethiopian Airlines Lost over $550m due to COVID-19: CEO

By Staff Reporter

Ethiopian-Losses-COVID-19April 7, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Ethiopian Airlines has lost more than $550 million in revenue due to the deadly coronavirus as confirmed cases of the pandemic in the country hits 52.

In a briefing on Tuesday, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Geberemariam said the loss revenue occurred because of the suspension of 91 international flights as COVID-19 restricts movements of almost half of the world population.

Tewolde said COVID-19 pandemic has hit the aviation industry hard as travel demand collapsed and some countries impose travel bans to try and contain the pandemic.

“Had the airlines not been backed by its cargo, maintenance and hotel services, its operation would have been hampered badly,” he said

According to the CEO, Ethiopian Airlines still flies to 19 international destinations so do Emirates, Lufthansa, Air France, and British Airlines.

He said the airliner will lose a total of $2.52 billion due to the pandemic and the revenue loss represents the lion share (more than half) of the losses from all African airliners combined.

Unlike information being trending in social media, the airline did not fire permanent employees but terminated casual and part-time employees as the impact of the pandemic swells.

The CEO said three employees of the airliner have contracted COVID-19 but one of them has recovered. He said only those members of the flight crew who show symptoms of the diseases have been quarantined.

The flag carrier still flies to 14 local destinations even though the number of local passengers has reduced by 70 percent.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has confirmed eight new cases of coronavirus (COVID19) out of the 264 samples that were tested over the past 24 hours.

This brings the total COVID19 cases in Ethiopia to 52.

Seven of the confirmed cases are Ethiopian nationals. The other is a 30-year-old Eritrean woman.

Among the confirmed cases include a nine-month-old baby and his mother, according to a statement issued by the Ministry on Tuesday.

Ethiopia has so far reported two deaths and four recoveries from the virus.

Currently, Ethiopia is undertaking testing for the coronavirus in three laboratories in Addis Ababa. The Tigray regional state said it has already begun the testing for COVID-19 as the Amhara, Oromia and SNNP regional states said they are finalizing preparations to launch the testing against COVID-19.

Ezega.com has learned that a large number of residents in Addis Ababa failed to implement the prevention methods mainly maintaining physical distances in religious and market centers as well as the capital's busiest places like Piassa, Megenagna, and Mexico Square.

According to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University, more than 1.3 million cases of coronavirus have been registered globally.

So far, nearly 76,000 people have died and more than 289,000 have recovered from the virus.

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