Ethiopian Airlines Privatization Plan Put On Hold Temporarily, Government Confirms

Ethiopia has suspended plans to partially privatize Ethiopian Airlines for now after a review of its flag carrier, reported Africa News.

Minister of Finance Ahmed Shide announced the news saying that the airline company has continued to generate much needed foreign currency for the country amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Ethiopian Airlines is one of the airlines that have continued to stay relatively stable, largely due to a shift from passenger flights to cargo as countries closed their airspaces. The airline used 27 of its passenger planes for freight transportation.

The partial privatization of Ethiopian Airlines has been a key point of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s economic reforms. But now, the government says that Africa’s largest airline will remain in the hands of the government for now.

Earlier this month, Ethiopian Airlines Group announced that it would cover the medical insurance including repatriation, evacuation and quarantine costs related to COVID-19 from October, 1, 2020 until March 31, 2021. The coverage will be provided to passengers of all international flights booked with the airline’s tickets.

The Sheba Comfort global cover, launched in collaboration with AXA Partners and Awash Insurance Company, is part of the airline’s extra security measures to ensure passengers travel with complete peace of mind.

The insurance will cover medical expenses up to EUR 100,000 if passengers are diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel in addition to quarantine costs up to EUR 150 per day for a maximum of 14 days. The cover will also include repatriation and evacuation services as well as 24/7 assistance through the airline’s hotline.

Ethiopian Group CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, said the Sheba Comfort insurance scheme is part of the airline company’s measures that has been taken to ensure the health and wellbeing of passengers on the ground and onboard.

He said as travel safety continues, the Ethiopian Airlines will always be at the forefront of adopting all necessary changes to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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