ADDIS ABABA, April 1 (Xinhua) -- A strong partnership with China throughout the pandemic has provided renewed momentum to Ethiopia's cargo and logistics air services.
Fitsum Abadi, managing director of Ethiopian Airlines Cargo and Logistics Services, told Xinhua that thanks to the ever-growing partnership with China, the group has significantly increased its cargo frequency to the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ethiopian Airlines, which operates 63 flights to China per week, including 28 cargo and 35 passenger flights, expanded that number to 117 during the pandemic, mainly due to growing cargo flight services from China to across the globe.
"When the pandemic came everybody was saying 'we have to stop flying to China,' and almost many airlines stopped flying to China. But Ethiopian airlines continued to fly because we had a very good reason for flying," said Abadi.
According to the managing director, Ethiopia's flag carrier has been transporting COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from China and Chinese vaccines to the rest of the world.
"In Africa, we have transported PPE to 52 countries. In Latin America, North America, Canada, (and) almost all Europe, we have been transporting PPE from China," Abadi said.
"The reason why we were dominating is that we kept our frequency and our operation in China. We did not withdraw like others who emotionally withdrew their operation," he added.
According to Abadi, the beneficiaries from the increased flights are not only Africans but rather countries across the globe.
"As you know, the (transportation of the) vaccines require ultra-cold, temperature-controlled logistics equipment. The tripartite agreement among Southern China's Shenzhen airport, the Jack Ma logistics and Ethiopian airlines helps ensure that the vaccines for transportation are kept in the cold-chain," he said.