November 1, 2012 · 2 Comments
Etihad Airways confirmed the airline had been forced to postpone the launch of its flights to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, after the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority rejected the airline’s application for the required operating permit.
This is despite the existence of a Memorandum of Understanding concluded by the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of Abu Dhabi in June 2007. Based on this agreement, Ethiopian Airlines commenced scheduled passenger flights to Abu Dhabi in July 2008, suspending the service 12 months later.
The United Arab Emirates carrier had scheduled five times per week service and was scheduled to commence on November 2. Over a period of six months, the UAE Government has held several meetings to resolve this situation, with the final meeting in Addis Ababa ending in failure last week.
Unfortunately, due to lack of any positive outcome Etihad Airways has had no alternative but to postpone the launch of flights between Addis Ababa and Abu Dhabi until further notice.
“The actions of the Ethiopian CAA ignore the Memorandum of Understanding between Abu Dhabi and Ethiopia. They are also very much against the best interests of consumers, who are being denied the opportunity to experience Etihad Airways’ award-winning service,” the airline said in a statement. “We will continue to push for terms of the MoU to be honoured. In the meantime, we deeply regret any inconvenience caused to our customers and business partners by this delay.”
The airline is contacting all passengers who have booked to fly on the planned service and will offer a full refund, or will assist passengers to make flight arrangements with another carrier. Meanwhile, the airline has announced it had purchased two more Airbus A330-200 passenger aircraft in a deal worth $418 million at current list prices.
The carrier has also converted seven of its previously ordered Airbus A320s to the larger Airbus A321 model. The new Airbus A330 aircraft are scheduled for delivery in January and March 2014.
The airline began operations with its first Airbus A330-200 in November 2003. The airline currently has 16 Airbus A330-200, six Airbus A330-300 passenger-types and two A330-200 freighters in its fleet of 67 aircraft.
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