Ethiopian delays Sao Paulo flights, citing bad slot timings



Information availed from a source in Addis Ababa reveals a change of heart by Ethiopian Airlines over their planned flights to Brazil’s largest city Sao Paulo which were announced a while ago to commence in December this year. The airline’s official stand is that the postponement was necessitated by the allocation of a landing and departure time which would not permit network traffic feed into the flights from Addis via Lome to Sao Paulo. The Lome / Togo stop was primarily aimed to give ET’s partner airline ASKY the opportunity to also collect traffic from the region and feed into the cross Atlantic flight to Brazil. Attempts to make unsuitable slot times however the main issue at this late stage would suggest that the preparations for the route, including having a suitable landing and departure time for Sao Paulo agreed to in advance, were are from ideally executed or else that other reasons such as weaker than expected demand could have something to do with it. Ethiopian was to fly three times a week from Ethiopia to Brazil and has now named March 2013 as a new possible start date.

Other suggestions over the delay of these flights focuses rather more on the lack of suitable aircraft at this moment in time, attributed to the repeated delays in getting the ordered B787’s on line, coupled with a recent unscheduled engine change on the first Dreamliner delivered to Ethiopian, which reportedly caused some added concern and extra caution in operating the aircraft.

In contrast is the planned start of flights from Addis Ababa to Kuala Lumpur and ready to go next week, ahead of yet more destinations being prepared as the airline continues to add aircraft to the fleet. Watch this space for regular and breaking news from Eastern Africa’s vibrant aviation scene.