Africa’s largest carrier Ethiopian Airlines has once again refused to cancel flights to China despite rising pressure following the coronavirus outbreak.
By contrast, South African Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Air Tanzania, Air Mauritius, EgyptAir, RwandAir and Kenya Airways have all suspended flights to and from China.
But Ethiopian Airlines’ boss Tewolde Gebremariam said on Wednesday that stopping flights to China was not the solution to fighting the spread of coronavirus.
He added that it was unfair to isolate China because of the virus.
“Flying direct to China doesn’t mean we will stop novel coronavirus, because passengers from China can travel to African countries including Ethiopia through various others hubs. That’s what the interconnected world means,” he was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying.
Mr Tewolde said Ethiopian Airlines, like others, had been affected by the virus outbreak – citing a 20% decline in demand.
African Airlines have lost $400m (£312m) since the outbreak of the coronavirus in China in February, according to the International Air Transport Association.