Ethiopian flies high

Most of the reaction to the Ethiopian Airlines crash, which claimed the lives of 157 people, was appropriate — shock, sympathy, commiserations. But not all of it.

On a small but significant number of foreign news outlets and social media, armchair commentators were quick to revert to racist stereotypes, questioning Ethiopian Airlines’ safety record and implying that “African airlines” are somehow less safe or have lower standards than others.

Richard Quest, CNN’s travel correspondent, reinforced these attitudes even as he tried to defend the airline. “There is no safety issue on Ethiopian. They have made it their business to be the African airline that operates like a Western airline.”

For the record, before the crash on Sunday, Ethiopian Airlines boasted one of the world’s best safety records. And, although it is too early for any definitive conclusions to be drawn about what caused flight ET 302 to go down, circumstantial evidence suggests it was the manufacturer of the plane, Boeing, rather than the airline that was at fault; that the problem originated in Seattle, not Addis Ababa.

So, though we might avoid travelling on Boeing 737 Max 8 jets for now, the Mail & Guardian will continue to take advantage of Ethiopian Airlines’ extensive network and reliable service as we seek to tell this continent’s stories. If this is what an African airline looks like, then it is something we can all be proud of.

Advertisting

‘We’re satisfied with SA’s land reform policy’— US Ambassador

Top US official is lobbying multinational firms to invest in South Africa

Hosni Mubarak is dead, but the Egypt he built is...

Despite the efforts of the Arab Spring, Egypt is still led by a military dictatorship made in Mubarak’s image

Inside the Security Branch: Torture between brandy and boerewors

A former SB operative, Paul Erasmus, talks about the torture of a young trade unionist, Neil Aggett, and the machinations at John Vorster Square
Advertising

Press Releases

South Africa’s education system is broken and unequal, and must be fixed without further delay

The Amnesty International report found that the South African government continues to miss its own education upgrading targets

Business travel industry generates billions

Meetings Africa is ready to take advantage of this lucrative opportunity

Conferences connect people to ideas

The World Expo and Meetings Africa are all about stimulating innovation – and income

SAB Zenzele Kabili B-BBEE share scheme

New scheme to be launched following the biggest B-BBEE FMCG payout in South Africa’s history

TFSAs are the gymnasts of the retirement savings world

The idea is to get South Africans to save, but it's best to do your research first to find out if a TFSA is really suited to your needs

Achieving the litmus test of social relevance

The HSS Awards honours scholarly works based on their social relevance and contribution to the humanities and social sciences

Making sense of tax-free savings and investment

Have you made the most of your tax-free investment contributions?

Response to the report of the independent assessors

VUT welcomes the publishing of the report of the independent assessors to investigate concerns of poor governance, leadership, management, corruption and fraud at the university.