By Boma Benjy – Iwuoha

The COVID-19 Pandemic halted travels across most of the World’s major cities, and with most of the World’s major cities locked down, the airline industry is reported as one of the hardest-hit sectors, by the pandemic.

As businesses gradually open up, and life begins the return to normalcy, most airline operators have resorted to different means to sustain operations in the wake of the pandemic, including Government bailouts, employee pay cuts and scanty operational schedules.

However, one airline continues to stand out among the lot. Ethiopian Airways has, under the leadership of its Chief Executive Officer, Tewolde GebreMariam, successfully sustained its operations, without recourse to Government Bailouts, or employee pay cuts, and has opened up more operational routes.

The airline also continues to improve on safety and wellbeing of its passengers, earlier this month, Ethiopian airlines unveiled its Sheba Comfort COVID-19 Global Insurance cover, which will cover medical insurance including repatriation, evacuation and quarantine costs related to COVID-19 from October 01, 2020, to March 31, 2021. The coverage is applicable on all international flights booked with the airline’s tickets.

While speaking on the global cover, the Group CEO, Mr Tewolde GebreMariam, said, “We are glad to be among the pioneer global airlines to introduce this extra security measure and provide global cover for COVID-19 with a view to boosting passengers’ confidence. Our Sheba Comfort insurance scheme is part of the measures we have been taking to ensure the health and wellbeing of passengers on the ground and onboard. As travel safety continues to evolve by the day, we will always be at the forefront of adopting all necessary changes to ensure the safety of our passengers is our top priority.”

This week, Ethiopian Airways also announced a new partnership with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The new partnership agreement will enable the nation’s flagship carrier to source locally grown produce and ingredients for preparing in-flight meals for global passengers.

The Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr Tewolde GebreMariam and U.S. Ambassador Michael Raynor signed a memorandum of understanding in which the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide Ethiopian farmers and food producers technical assistance and access to financing in order to ensure they are able to meet the airlines’ standards of quality and volume to serve its customers.

In February 2019, Mr Tewolde GebreMariam was inducted into the African CEO’s Hall of Fame during the African Leadership Magazine’s Persons of the Year ceremony. The annual African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Award which Africa’s finest business, political and diplomatic leaders who are contributing to the continent’s growth and development.

This week, we profile Tewolde GebreMariam as African of the week for exceptional leadership building Africa’s Largest Airline Group.