Tuesday, January 29, 2013

■ ETHIOPIA: ECAA claims offers for talks with the UAE over a possible BASA have been ignored.

The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) says its "invitation" to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to negotiate and complete a Bilateral Air Transport Service Agreement (BASA) between the two states, has been ignored.

Bole International Airport
Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa
In late October, Abu Dhabi based carrier Etihad Airways (EY) angrily announced the indefinite postponement of its inaugural Abu Dhabi - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia flight, set to have begun on 2 November 2012. Etihad claimed the ECAA had rejected the airline’s application for the required operating permit, despite the existence of a Memorandum of Understanding concluded by the governments of Ethiopia and Abu Dhabi in June 2007.

The ECAA, however, disputes the existence of any MoU. Colonel Wossenyeleh Hunegnaw, director general of Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said:
It looks like some groups are trying to make it look like we are trespassing international conventions, but it is not the case. There is no country level MoU to begin with; therefore, there is no designated access right,” he said.
Source [The Reporter]

Other ambiguous reports claim that the debacle is infact the result of a quarrel between Emirates (EK) and Etihad over the unlimited access Emirates has to Addis Ababa and which Etihad has been unable to obtain. Proof for this claim is the supposed "contentment" of other Arab carriers (flyDubai) with the current arrangement, which at present, does not exist at a bilateral (i.e national) level, thereby requiring individual carriers to negotiate rights.