Ethiopian Airlines employees hide on flights to Belgium and the United States


In the morning of 4 December, two ground technicians – working for Ethiopian Airlines – climbed the storage section of a converted cargo Airbus A350 that was sitting in one of the hangars of Addis Ababa Airport, Ethiopia, ready for a flight to Brussels, Belgium.

The two, both of Tigrayan origin, said they felt a threat from the Ethiopian authorities that left them no choice but to stow away among crates of fresh flowers. Meanwhile, one of them already obtained asylum in Belgium.

They were not the first employees to try a risky escape from their home country, as on 1 December, two other Ethiopian Airlines technicians concealed themselves in a passenger aircraft destined for Washington, DC, a spokesperson for the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed to CNN via an emailed statement.

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Ethiopian Airlines employees are fleeing the country by hiding in the planes they work on (


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