Ethiopian Airlines to resume flights to Tigray as peace holds

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Ethiopian Airlines, the leading African flag carrier, has said that it has finalised preparations to resume flights to the Tigray region.

This was confirmed by the airline’s CEO, Mesfin Tasew earlier in the week.

All commercial flight services to and from Tigray, the northernmost region of Ethiopia, were suspended after conflict erupted in November 2020.

Flight services restarted for a period after government forces captured Mekelle, Tigray’s regional capital, but were stopped again after Tigray forces retook the city.

The plan to resume flights comes a few weeks after a peace accord was reached to end a two-year-long bloody conflict.

Ethiopia’s federal government and leaders in the Tigray region struck a peace accord on November 2 in South Africa followed by an implementation deal signed in Nairobi ten days later.

Mesfin Tasew, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, said that “the situation on the ground has improved” and that Ethiopian Airlines has completed preparations to start operations in the region.

According to the CEO, following the peace agreement, the airline dispatched personnel to the Tigray region to assess the safety of airports to accommodate flights.

“They are monitoring the safety of the runways and facilities in the airports in the region as well as the condition of the communication and air traffic services,” said Mesfin.

“We are working closely with the government,” said the official, who added that the start of the flights depends on the approval of the security authorities and civil aviation.

“We can start any day. It could be today or tomorrow. At any time when we are told to start, we will,” he said, stating that the airline is ready.

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