Skip to content

Ethiopian Airliner Accused of Discrimination

A civil society organisation has launched a lawsuit against Ethiopian Airlines, accusing the state-owned carrier of discriminating against ethnic Tigrayans. The suit brought by Human Rights First, a local NGO, claims the airline is preventing “Tigrayans aged 15 to 60” from buying tickets for flights from the northern Tigray region to Addis Ababa, the federal capital. It also claims the company has increased ticket prices for the route as a form of “collective sanction” against the people of Tigray. The group claims this violates Ethiopia’s constitution, which contains articles ensuring equality among ethnic groups and guaranteeing freedom of movement. For much of the conflict, Tigray was cut off from the rest of Ethiopia, with communications and transport links severed. Flights between Addis Ababa and the Tigrayan towns of Shire and Mekelle, the regional capital, resumed in late December after the signing of a ceasefire a month before. Ethiopian Airlines is Africa’s largest air carrier and transported 12.7 million passengers last year.