Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest airline, says it has suspended two pilots who missed their landing during a flight from Sudan to Ethiopia.
A report had alleged that the pilots fell asleep during the flight and were only woken up by an alarm triggered when the autopilot disconnected.
Flight data obtained by the website indicated that the aircraft was cruising at 37,000 feet on autopilot when it failed to descend at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, its scheduled destination, on August 15.
According to the report, air traffic control (ATC) were unable to reach the crew despite making several attempts at contact.
More so, automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADSB) data showed evidence that the aircraft overflew the airport, before beginning its descent and maneuvering for another approach about 25 minutes later.
In a statement on Friday, the airline confirmed that the plane eventually landed safely.
But the statement did not specify if the pilots had slept.
We have received a report which indicates Ethiopian flight number ET343 en route from Khartoum to Addis Ababa temporarily lost communication with Addis Ababa Air Traffic Control on 15 August 2022,” the statement reads.
“The flight later landed safely after communication was restored. The concerned crew have been removed from operation pending further investigation.
“Appropriate corrective action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation.
“Safety has always been and will continue to be our first priority.”