Expects to restore normal schedule within 24 hours; Carrier urges passengers to defer travel, to and from capital, until Jan 6
In a new statement, Etihad Airways says it’s expecting to restore its normal schedule within 24 hours after severe fog disrupted flight operations yesterday.
Following a major restructuring of operations overnight, including cancellations of 20 flights, the carrier states aircraft congestion at Abu Dhabi has eased, with many disrupted services departing and delayed inbound services arriving in the UAE capital.
In addition, the airline states rebooking of many of its passengers on later flights, or their transfer to other airlines, has helped ease the pressure on Abu Dhabi International Airport, while the cancellation or deferral of flights around the network has provided more pilots and cabin crew to operate rescheduled services.
The carrier further states the main focus on Sunday is to provide flights for the passengers still stranded in Abu Dhabi and other ports around the network following yesterday’s disruption.
During the past 24 hours, the airline confirms it has booked more than 2,000 hotel rooms in Abu Dhabi to accommodate guests affected by the disruptions.
Earlier: The Abu Dhabi-based carrier announced it has restructured its flight schedule for Saturday and Sunday, as it recovers from operational disruption caused severe fog at Abu Dhabi Airport.
In a statement, the airline said: “Twenty return flights have been cancelled, with a number of flights subject to revised times.
“Guests originally booked on cancelled flights will be reallocated to later flights.”
According to Etihad’s revised schedule, some flights are delayed by nearly 12 hours, with routes affected including Delhi, Islamabad, Zurich, Manila, Johannesburg, Milan and more.
On Saturday, Flight EY11, an Airbus A380 service from Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow, was rescheduled to depart at 1am on Sunday, rather than its usual time of 2.35am.
The airline is also urging any passengers who can defer their travel to, from, or through Abu Dhabi, up to and including Tuesday 6 January, to rebook on later flights.
This can also be done through the global contact centres.
The airline is waiving normal cancellation and refund fees during this period.
Last week, Etihad had confirmed it had rescheduled 16 flights due to low visibility caused by the fog at Abu Dhabi Airport.
The UAE’s National Centre for Meteorology has forecasted foggy conditions over scattered parts of the country over the next three days.