Airline boycott has a storied past in South Africa as part of a broader consumer boycott by activists standing against state repression. These activists who called for a free and democratic South Africa understood that, if one is serious about human rights and democracy, then every
nonviolent resistance, including economic boycott, must be waged.

For 21 years, the violent and manipulative TPLF rulers have been coercing where they can — such as human rights defenders in Ethiopia and everyone else in the country. And where they can’t coerce, for example, outside of the country, they have been playing with the minds of pro-democracy Ethiopians abroad, leading us to dither and to limit ourselves in the nonviolent methods we use to wage our fight against dictatorship in our country. It is time that we take the example of the freedom-fighters in South Africa. We should take action and stop flying Ethiopian Airlines (EAL) to put pressure on the oppresses.

With every flight on EAL, we are dutifully handing over our scarce cash, in the form of foreign currency, and are unwittingly keeping the hungry TPLF well-fed and the military loyal to them.

Here are just a few significant moments in the boycott movement against the South African Apartheid rule’s airline, South African Airways (SAA). This can inspire us to do our part and quit using EAL:

As early as the 1960s, several African states pioneered the application of pressure on the brutal Apartheid regime through the regime’s airline, by prohibiting the use of their airspace by SAA. This made it exceedingly difficult for the regime to operate its airline. Under effective grassroots activism, SAA started to become a liability for respected firms left and right that had been associated with SAA. For example, in 1985, the well-established Washington D.C. law firm Covington & Burling, which used to represent SAA, dropped it as a client.

Patriotic anti-apartheid activists were able to also influence US policy to pass in 1986 the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act. Among other things, the law banned flights by SAA into the United States. Soon thereafter, Australia followed suit with a similar legislation concerning SAA.

In 1988 anti-Apartheid activists in London unrelentingly occupied SAA’s offices there, as part of the ‘No Rights? No Flights!’ campaign. Activists realized that one of the ways to effectively strike at the heart of the violent and racist white rule in South Africa was to target a boycott where it hurt the repressive rulers: at their treasured cash-cow, the government controlled airline. The poster on the left in the picture above (and enlarged below) subverts the Apartheid regime’s advertisement slogan for the purpose of galvanizing consumers to stop flying SAA.

Economic boycotts such as these, along with a wide range of methods to resist the authoritarian racial rule in South Africa, led to the crumbling of Apartheid rule in 1990.
Boycott Ethiopian Airlines

5 thoughts on “BOYCOTT Ethiopian Airlines – NO RIGHTS? NO FLIGHTS!

  1. Tassew on

    For the last 4 years I have been flying KLM. It is a little inconvenient making 2 stops at Amsterdam and Khartoum. However, this is the least I could do play my role on depriving weyane from hard currency. I was surprised to see many Ethiopians using this carrier although I am not sure if some of them are boycotting EAL.

  2. EthioLion on

    I have been saying this long ago, cut their pipe line, their hard currency, they need this, and find other ways to fly, not that hard, now days you could it do it with your smartphone. Another is about remittance to families back home, we need ways to cut too ASAP. Anything with TPLF must be boycotted, we must chock their pipeline, just like they chock the Ethiopian people, any supports off TPLF, cut them off ASAP.

  3. Tassew,

    You are a hypocrat and idiot. There are millions of Ethiopian whose livelyhood are affecting by actions like this. Ethiopian Review is the voice of Shabia and Alshabab – the two core enmies of Ethiopia.

  4. Omot Obong on

    Dear all,

    Depriving Ethiopia hard currency will not lead to democracy or overthrow of the regime. I hope those who are against TPLF should read John Markakis’ book: Ethiopia: The Last Two Frontiers. There is no question that EPRDF dominates politics in Ethiopia and rigged elections. The question is: Who will replace TPLF’s policies and come up with something plausable to all ethnic groups in the country?

    I am from Gambella and we support ethnic federalism because it gave us cultural and political rights. What we want is more and real ethnic federalism, not less. But the so-called Ethiopian opposition are fighting for unitary state, that is, returning Ethiopia to pre-1991 state where the centre colonized the peripheries. That era is gone. Different groups in Ethiopia today have their own political interests. If the Amhara have a problem with TPLF, that is the Abysinian and Abesha problem. It is not a Oromo, Nuer, Anywaa, Kumo, Somali, Afar, Sidamo, Mejinger, etc problem.

    Any party which will remove TPLF must prove that it will practice more federalism, not less. The ethnic groups of Ethiopia have awaken and they know their rights. The two Abysinian tribes, that is Tigre and Amhara, will no longer colonize the rest as they did in the past. If there are “Ethiopians” who think that they will return the country to unitary state, they will face a war they had never seen before.


    Omot Obong,
    Nebraska, USA

  5. I hate Aderbayoche. Eventhough we don’t say anything, GOD will play his part. Ethiopians don’t ever, ever, ever lose ” HOPE “.

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