Saturday, June 18, 2011

Airlines cancel flights to Addis Abba

Three airlines operating out of Entebbe International Airport to Ethiopia temporarily cancelled flights following the suspension of the use of the country’s airspace and that of Eritrea.
The affected airlines include; Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates, and Kenyan Airways which fly to Addis Abba. Ethiopia and Eritrea have suspended flights over their airspaces according to Mr Ignie Igundura, the spokesman of Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority.
Volcanic eruption
The suspension came on the back of the ash cloud formed by the eruption of a volcanic mountain in Eritrea at the weekend.
The cloud which could cause airlines to crash due to poor visibility, spread from Eritrea to Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Egypt, according to the BBC.
Despite the cancellation of flights, Mr Igundura told Daily Monitor that business at Entebbe Airport had not been severely affected.
“We have flights like Emirates that have been affected. You can call them to find out what they are doing about it,” he said in an interview yesterday.
Mr Igundura was not sure of when the suspension would be lifted to allow airlines to resume flights to or over Ethiopia. “You cannot know because it’s a natural disaster. It’s difficult to tell,” he said.
Despite the disruption, airlines such as Brussels which do not fly over Ethiopia, continued with their flights to Europe.
“We haven’t been affected, our operations are going on smoothly,” Mr Roger Wamara, the sales and marketing manager Brussels Airlines in Uganda, said.
By last evening, Ethiopian Airlines had also resumed flights to Djibouti but not to other affected markets brining hope to some disturbed travellers.
“The volcanic ash cloud in the Northern part of Ethiopia is clearing.