Maputo — Tete (Mozambique), 5 Dec (AIM) - Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines (EMA), the local subsidiary of Ethiopian Airlines, suffered its first mishap on Tuesday, when its Embraer Q400 aircraft, on a scheduled flight from Maputo to Nampula via Tete, was unable to leave Chingodzi airport in Tete because of technical problems detected after the landing.
The plane's captain informed the passengers of the breakdown. Since it was initially believed that the problem would soon be solved, the transit passengers stayed on board. But after about an hour they received instructions to disembark and take all their belonging with them.
The captain apologised and told the passengers that the technical staff needed more time to work on the plane.
Shortly afterwards a spokesperson for the airport management informed the passengers that the Embraer was unable to fly to Nampula for safety reasons. The passengers were asked to remain in the terminal "while we wait for a solution from Maputo".
But there was no solution forthcoming from Maputo, where no other plane was available. The only solution was to accommodate the passengers in Tete, at EMA's expense, and they would have to continue their journey to Nampula on Wednesday.
EMA began operating Mozambican domestic routes on Saturday. It is using just two Embraer Q-400s from flights from Maputo to Beira, Tete, Nampula, Quelimane and Pemba.
The only consolation for the passengers is that they were informed in reasonable time about the problem, which did not always happen with the domestic flights operated by Mozambique Airlines (LAM).