Etihad Airways forced to postpone launch of service to Ethiopia
Etihad Airways has 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, reports Nazret.com.
Etihad Airways said in a statement: "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.”
Analyst Saj Ahmad commented: "It is clear that the Ethiopian Government sees two things. First is that Etihad's growth is an existential threat to that of Ethiopian Airlines, and secondly, the failure to ratify the MOU between the two nations means that Ethiopia was out to protect its own flag carrier at the expense of a possible "open skies" pact between them.
"Ethiopian Airlines is one of just a handful of African carriers that is expanding rapidly and was the third customer to take delivery of the revolutionary 787-8 as path towards expanding into Europe, Asia and the GCC. The failure of a UAE-Ethiopian deal to press ahead with the MoU suggests Ethiopia isn't yet ready to allow UAE carriers to dominate traffic flows in and out of their country, putting pressure on Ethiopian Airlines at a time when its capital expenditure is on the rise as it grows and inducts new airplanes."