• Fokker 100 model was flown to Eritrea in October in rebel-held area • Aircraft then returned to northern Ethiopia
Ethiopia used its flagship commercial airline to transport weapons during the three-year conflict with neighbouring Eritrea, the aviation firm has confirmed.
The Ethiopian state-owned airline, Addis Ababa Airlines, said on Friday it had destroyed its record of all flights by the plane, a Fokker 100 model, which was flown to Eritrea in a rebel-held area of the country in October.
“This aircraft was certainly not used on domestic flights,” the airline told the state-owned Ethiopian Herald newspaper.
Flightradar24, an aviation news and data site, showed a single flight carrying 16 passengers in late October.
“That was a private flight for a journalist. Addis Ababa Airlines has deactivated its passenger manifest … So the aircraft also does not have any passengers,” airlines spokesperson Salome Tadesse told Reuters.
Ethiopia used Fokker 100 airplanes for nearly 80 years before taking delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000 model in 2017. It also has two Boeing 787 Dreamliners.