Ethiopian Airlines suspends all flights to China amid coronavirus outbreak

ADDIS ABABA, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Ethiopian Airlines on Thursday suspended all flights to China, where an outbreak of coronavirus has killed at least 170 people, according to the airline’s passenger call centre.

The airline, Africa’s most profitable, is the main gateway between China and Africa and suspension of its service is expected to significantly disrupt air travel. The carrier runs six flights to China daily across five Chinese destinations. An Ethiopian Airlines spokesman declined to comment. China has heavily invested in Ethiopia in recent years as it has in other African countries.

Ethiopia’s state minister for Health Lia Tadesse said in a tweet on Thursday that tests for coronavirus on four Ethiopians at a lab in South Africa came back negative.