Yonas (name changed) told Addis Zeybe that he saw passengers who were not allowed to travel from Mekele to Addis Ababa from Mekelle airport, though they had a flight ticket.
Yonas is a resident of Addis Ababa and went to Tigray to celebrate the festival with his family following the resumption of flights.
He further mentioned that he saw hundreds of passengers who had been denied travel boarding sitting inside Mekelle Alula Abanega International Airport seeking a solution.
“I don't know why the travel ban has been imposed when people have validly ticketed flights. I bought a round-trip air ticket; I think that’s why they didn't stop me from traveling. After a 10-day stay with my family, I returned to Addis Ababa a day after the holiday,” said Yonas.
Another passenger told Addis Zeybe that he was banned from entering the airport and forced to return from Alula Abanega International Airport.
“Even passengers with round-trip tickets, people with medical emergencies, and youths have been prohibited from traveling to Addis Ababa,” the passenger said.
Regarding the complaints, Tigray television, a regional media outlet, reported that the Tigray regional government has been discussing the issue with the federal government.
Haftay Gebre told Tigray Television that he is a resident of Addis Ababa's Nifas Silk sub-city. After hearing of his mother’s death, he traveled to Mekele. But now he wasn’t able to come back to Addis because of the travel restriction.
“Since the passengers are being harassed, the federal government should solve the problem immediately,” added Haftay.
Lemma Yadecha, the Chief Commercial Officer of Ethiopian Airlines told BBC that he did not know anything about the complaints.
“We don't know anything. As it is governed by law and order, Ethiopian Airlines does not have any age or gender restrictions. Even on our website, there is no prohibition,” said Lemma.
Following the signing of a peace agreement between the Federal Government and the TPLF, Ethiopian Airlines resumed service to Mekele on December 28, 2022.