African Express

Fly Africa, which is based at Mogadishu Airport, has retained Bethesda law firm Schulman Bhattacharya to handle US media inquiries surrounding the shooting down of an African Express cargo plane carrying humanitarian supplies over Somalia in May.

The New York Times reported that the Kenya-registered plane loaded with supplies to fight COVID-19 may have been shot down by Ethiopian troops, who thought it was about to carry out a suicide attack.

Fly Africa had been leasing the aircraft and had about 20 months left on the lease at the time of the crash, according to SB's engagement letter.

SB's job is to intercede with authorities in Ethiopia, African Union Mission in Somalia peacekeeping force, African Union and the United Nations to negotiate compensation for the incident on an "informal basis."

If more formal proceedings are required, the firm may decide to continue the representation.

While SB's core mission is providing legal support overseas, it registered with the Justice Dept. because it may have to field questions from the American media.