ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Airlines has denied allegations of discriminatory practices on its flight services to and from Tigray Region, the northern part of the country.
The airlines on Thursday responded to media reports that alleged it discriminated against passengers who originate from Mekelle and Shire based on ethnicity, age and fare.’
A local NGO, named Human Rights First, has filed a lawsuit against the Star Alliance carrier for its discriminatory practices, according to UK’s The Guardian.
The lawsuit reportedly argues that the airline has increased ticket prices for the route as a form of “collective sanction” against the people of Tigray.
The news comes just months after Ethiopian Airlines resumed flights to the two cities of Tigray following the peace deal that ended a two-year conflict in the north.
In a statement Thursday, the airlines stated that Ethiopian is enhancing its services to the region, adding that:
“In cognizant to the growing demand, currently Nine (9) daily flights are being operated to the region’s capital Mekelle and Shire.
“These flight services are among the largest daily connectivity to a region in the airline’s domestic services. We will continue to monitor the demand and increase frequencies accordingly.
“As a customer-centric commercial airline, Ethiopian does not discriminate against passengers based on ethnicity, age, gender or any other factors; it does not even request for any document to prove ethnicity in the process of providing its services.
“Ethiopian is committed to offering smooth flight services to its domestic and international passengers without any discrimination.
“Hence, all accusations that ‘Ethiopian has discriminated passengers who originate from Mekelle and Shire based on ethnicity, age and fare’ are all false allegations,” the statement concludes.
Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest-growing airlines brand globally, currently operates to more than 20 domestic destinations.