Future Addis Ababa airport, expansion of the fleet and network, diversification… In spite of the crisis, the head of the continent’s leading airline remains focused on his objectives and, strengthened by increasingly privileged links with China, has great ambitions.

Tewolde GebreMariam, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, describes himself as “very combative” at the moment.

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After the ordeal of the Boeing 737 Max crash in 2019, it is the coronavirus crisis of “unprecedented magnitude” that Ethiopian Airlines and its CEO are facing.

The company has continued to fly to China, the epicentre of the epidemic, while most of the major players had interrupted their flights. Its cargo planes have appeared on screens around the world for having participated in the “war effort” against the epidemic.

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On the tarmacs of many African airports, but also in Spain, Italy and Portugal, it was one of the first to deliver sanitary equipment from China.

It demonstrates a flexibility in the temporary reconversion of its activities. This does not spare it from the difficulties affecting the entire air transport sector, but rather encourages it to continue the diversification of its activities begun some ten years ago.

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While it is unaware of the date and extent of the recovery, Tewolde GebreMariam is maintaining his course.

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