BY Dawit endeshaw, Addis Fortune
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Ethiopian Airlines management has postponed its decision to start running flights to Tokyo, Japan, until April 2015. The flights were initially scheduled to begin in November 2014, sources told Fortune.
However, the reason for this decision remains unclear, as airline management categorically rejected claims from Tokyo that the Ebola scare dramatically reduced the number of passengers expected to buy tickets during the season. Ethiopian Airlines has been losing eight million dollars a month since the start of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Tewelde G. Mariam, CEO of the national flag carrier, told Reuters last week.
Although Ethiopian Airlines has already opened an area office in Tokyo and deployed staff, including an area manager, Mesai, ticket offices were told to start issuing tickets to Tokyo. However, according to Japanese diplomats, the outbreak has scared Japanese passengers planning to travel to Africa.
“We have been informed that passengers between Japan and Africa have been decreasing, and that would be caused by the Ebola virus expansion in West Africa,” a senior official at the Africa Division of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, told Fortune. “We have also been informed that Ethiopian Airlines would like to start their flight to Narita, hopefully in April 2015.”
Read more at: Addis Fortune