Tuesday, September 17, 2013

■ SOMALIA: Ethiopian suspends Hargeisa, Berbera flights over impasse with Somaliland government.

Ethiopian Airlines (ET) has suspended its services to the Somalian towns of Berbera and Hargeisa owing to sub-standard infrastructure. Flights between Addis Ababa and the capital of Somaliland, Hargeisa, were only recently resumed after significant upgrade works to the airport's infrastructure. However, it has since emerged that the quality of work done to runway 06/24 has allegedly proven substandard resulting in Ethiopian suspending its flights.

ET 737 in Hargeisa (Mogadishu Airport)
During Hargeisa's closure, Ethiopian had moved its operations to Berbera, site of a former Soviet air base, but there too, flights have now also been suspended. 

While Ethiopian has not responded to The African Aviation Tribune's requests for comment, the local Somaliland press has claimed that the quality of work done at Hargeisa Egal International Airport was unsatisfactory and did not "meet its safety standards." A disagreement over which airports would be served is then understood to have arisen resulting in the suspension of flights to both towns.

Ethiopian had deployed its B737-800 onto the Hargeisa route initially with the Q400 also seeing service via Jijiga.