State-owned Ethiopian Airlines has started cargo services to Hyderabad in India amid the coronavirus pandemic, local media reported.
Ethiopian Airlines will be operating Boeing 777-300 aircraft with a capacity of 50 metric tons per flight. The carrier is expected to operate one flight per week.
The Ethiopian flight ET 3612 arrived at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport last night at around 8 pm and the same flight departed earlier today.
The new service will connect Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, to Hyderabad.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has pushed the whole world into a state of lockdown, Ethiopian Airlines has grounded most of its passenger flights to help curb the spread of the deadly pathogen.
The virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year, has spread to other Southeast Asian countries, the Middle East, Europe, and even Africa.
Ethiopian Airlines came under immense criticism because of its decision to continue to fly to China despite major airlines in Africa and around the world cancelled its flights to China as well as its neighbouring countries.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam recently revealed that despite being the most profitable state-owned airlines in Africa, it is fighting for its survival in these difficult times.
He told the media, “To be honest with you, I had never thought that it would reach this stage. I had never thought that it would spread like this at this speed, and also in this magnitude. It is just too fast and too expansive and it’s beyond imagination.”
Ethiopian Airlines, which is now ramping up cargo operations to help defer lease payments, is facing a revenue loss of $550 million from January to April alone.