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Etihad operations settling after major airport disruption

March 11, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Etihad’s flight operations were almost back to normal yesterday after a major technological failure at Abu Dhabi International Airport last Thursday disrupted the travel plans of about 6600 travellers globally.

The airline reported yesterday that its flights operated normally in the morning. “However, as a result of unexpected fog, a small number of flights may experience minor delays,” a statement said.

Etihad said the delays, which reached their worst on Friday last week, were caused by the failure of runway landing systems at Abu Dhabi airport during dense fog on Thursday.

More than 30 flights were initially diverted, with 14 of those landing at Al Ain Airport which serves as a technical diversion airport and has limited customs clearance or immigration facilities.

About 500 people had to be accommodated in hotels in Abu Dhabi as well as other international cities on Friday night after missing their connecting flights, local media reported. Hundreds of bags needed to be returned to passengers who had become separated from their hold luggage after missing connecting flights.

Etihad said at the time the priority had been to allow passengers to continue their journey as quickly as possible, even without their luggage, and bags would be returned to passengers within 36 hours.

At the weekend, it said it was continuing to reschedule some long haul flights to ensure that passengers flying via Abu Dhabi could connect with onward services to their final destinations.

“The priority over the last 48 hours has been to enable passengers to continue their journeys as quickly as possible,” the airline stated then.

“This has resulted in several hundred bags being misconnected. Etihad Airways continues to do everything possible to ensure all misconnected baggage at Abu Dhabi International Airport is returned to passengers in the coming 36 hours.

“The airline continues to work around the clock to restore normal scheduled services and ensure that all affected passengers and their bags reach their final destination.”

Written by Peter Needham

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