By Staff writer
Abu Dhabi airline says it expects to operate a normal flight schedule by Tuesday but vows to act on passenger complaints
Etihad Airways expects to operate a normal flight schedule by Tuesday, as operations are restored following the major disruptions caused by severe weather over the weekend.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline said in a statement on Monday that it is also operating four additional relief flights to Jakarta and Jeddah and Bangkok and Phuket which will assist passengers whose travel plans have been disrupted.
The airline also announced it is to review its policies on the length of time aircraft can remain on the ground, with passengers aboard, while waiting for a take-off slot.
Etihad said it has "acknowledged customer concerns" and has committed to a review of its procedures "as soon as is feasible".
"It is expected that more than 95 percent of passengers delayed by the severe fog, which caused the closure of Abu Dhabi International Airport, will have departed Abu Dhabi by tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, with the remainder having departed by the end of the day," the UAE national carrier said.
It added that efforts have been helped by passengers originally scheduled to travel on Monday and Tuesday, who took advantage of Etihad's offer of free flight changes, to shift travel plans to later in January.
Etihad Airways said it mobilised more than 500 additional staff at the airport and city locations over the weekend, to assist guests stuck in Abu Dhabi as a result of the fog.
The airline served more than 15,000 meals to guests at the airport, and provided more than 2,000 hotel rooms across the city.
Abu Dhabi International Airport had to suspend operations for a period on January 3, as visibility fell below General Civil Aviation Authority-mandated safety limits.
"Etihad Airways apologises to its guests for any inconvenience caused as a result of this airport closure, for mandated safety reasons, and thanks them for their patience during these extremely challenging few days," the statement added.
Well Etihad Airlines has made the head lines in North America as a result of forced confinement of passengers on a parked air craft in the UAE for over 12 hrs. Does not take much to damage your brand now days. After all that hard work to be the best of the best. Now your just like the rest ...... with respect.
Yes, it was on the NBC nightly news out of the States. The story ran probably a full minute with an interview of a woman who said they were not allowed to get off the aircraft but at some point during the 12 hours Etihad changed out the crew. Very bad PR and an incredibly poor decision to leave everyone stranded on the flight.