Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

Ethiopian plane crash should not sully success story


lebanonWhen news of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash broke this morning my heart sank at the thought of covering yet another negative story about Ethiopia.

It’s particularly galling for Ethiopians that the airline is one of the few international success stories for a country known mostly for famine and war.

When the news emerged I also immediately knew how hard the company’s staff would take it. I’ve been to the sprawling campus that serves as headquarters to Africa’s arguably flagship airline many times. The last time was just last week to interview CEO Girma Wake and I left with a gift of Ethiopian coffee and the impression that I’d rarely seen people so passionate or proud about their work and what it does for their country.

Ethiopian Airlines is a company that Ethiopians are proud of. It has consistently expanded and remained profitable through tough times for other airlines and all manner of global economic strife. It has prioritized safety in a continent with a lamentable record and it is aggressively expanding into China and India.