Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines, reports that it has lost about $550 million since the beginning of the year. This is a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic that has seen countries ban international flights in a bid to curb the spread of the virus, thus resulting in the grounded fleet.
According to the airline’s CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, the airline is working at only 10% of its flight capacity after suspending 91 out of 110 of its passenger flight destinations.
Despite all this, the airline is still operating cargo flights and charters for Europeans and Americans wanting to be repatriated to their countries, even though these accounts for only 15% of its revenue.
However, as he reports, they will not lay off any employees. Furthermore, the CEO estimates that Ethiopian Airlines will lose $2.52 billion due to the pandemic, representing more than half of the losses from all African airlines combined.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projects that the global air industry will make revenue losses between $63 billion and $113 billion in 2020 in the passenger sector, with airlines worldwide needing up to $200 billion in state aid to remain afloat.