By Addis Getachew
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) - Ethiopian Airlines lost $550 million because of international flight restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s CEO said Tuesday.
Tewolde GebreMariam said the revenue loss has caused the national carrier to cut 90% of international flights.
"We are forced to fly to only 19 international destinations out of 110 destinations that the airline used to fly to pre-COVID 19 times," local newsmaker Walta Information Center quoted Tewolde at a news conference. "Our cargo and maintenance services are doing well.”
The international aviation industry has lost $52 billion, with Africa losing $4.2 billion, he said.
The virus originated in Wuhan, China in December, and has spread to at least 184 countries and regions. The epicenter has shifted to Europe, while China has largely come out of the crisis.
It has infected more than 1.38 million people worldwide, while nearly 293,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. An excess of 78,200 patients have died.
Despite the rising number of cases, most who become infected suffer mild symptoms and make a recovery.