Etihad Airways teams in Abu Dhabi and across its global network are continuing to work around the clock to restore the airline’s flight schedule to normal following Saturday’s severe fog disruption which had a major impact upon operations into and out of its hub.
Hundreds of airline passengers experienced delays sometimes for days. Etihad’s 183 nonstop from Abu Dhabi to San Francisco landed safely after a 28-hour overseas flight. Passengers claimed they waited for 12 hours on a tarmac in Abu Dhabi without food or accurate departure information.
According to an Etihad Airways spokesperson, the Abu Dhabi-based airline has apologized to passengers onboard flight EY183 to San Francisco, on Saturday, January 3, for the significant delay they experienced during the unprecedented fog disruption at Abu Dhabi Airport. EY183 was one of the flights most affected by the runway closure at 2:30 am and the subsequent congestion and significant delays which impacted all airlines.
During the time on the ground, awaiting permission to take off, passengers were provided with refreshments and were updated about the reasons for the rolling delay caused by the extreme weather conditions. The passengers remained on the aircraft as all efforts were being made to secure a new departure time. The delay was then compounded by the requirement to replace the aircraft’s ultra-long-haul operating crew who had exceeded their flight time limitations.
The aircraft pushed back at 2:15 pm local time and took off a short time later. Etihad Airways always strives to deliver the highest standards of customer service, and on this occasion its ability to do so was impacted by circumstances which were largely beyond its control.
EY 23 from Abu Dhabi to Duesseldorf, Germany, on Saturday landed with a 30-hour delay. Passengers had to wait for 13 hours on the plane parked in front of the terminal in Abu Dhabi. Passengers were not allowed to leave. After the flight finally departed, one passenger died, and the plane made an emergency landing in Vienna.