Ethiopian Airlines Suspends Sleeping Pilots

Ethiopian has suspended the two pilots who allegedly fell asleep during a flight from Khartoum to Addis Ababa.



August 20, 2022

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DALLAS - Two pilots who reportedly fell asleep and missed the top of descent into Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport (ADD) have been suspended by Ethiopian Airlines (ET).

Flight ET343 departed Sudan's Khartoum International Airport (KRT) on August 15 and was cruising at 37,000 feet on autopilot when it overshot its descent point.

Despite numerous attempts by Air Traffic Control (ATC) to contact the Boeing 737-800, communication was lost. An alarm was subsequently triggered in the flight deck, alerting the pilots that the autopilot had disconnected after overflying ADD. The flight crew then turned back and commenced a descent, landing some 25 minutes later.

ET Boeing 737-860 (ET-AQO). Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways.

"Removed From Operation"

A statement released by the airline said: "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 August 15, 2022.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."

Ethiopian Airlines is Africa's largest carrier, and the investigation is expected to be completed quickly to alleviate any passenger concerns regarding the airline's safety.

Featured Image: Ethiopian have taken the crew off roster while it completes a full investigation into the incident. Photo: Ethiopian Airlines.