Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bird strike disrupts Air Tanzania flights

By Zephania Ubwani, The Citizen Bureau Chief 

 A bird strike disrupted Air Tanzania Corporation Limited (ATCL) flights yesterday.

An ATCL plane, which was en route to Mwanza from Dar es Salaam, was grounded for several hours at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) yesterday after a cockpit window was broken when the aircraft hit a bird.

“The bird impacted on a cockpit window, breaking it,” said a senior official of the Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (Kadco), which operates the country’s second largest airport.

He told The Citizen by telephone that the incident happened in the morning and that the plane later flew back to Dar es Salaam for repairs.

ATCL officials in Arusha confirmed that one of the carrier’s leased planes had collided with a bird, but could not say whether the incident happened when the plane airborne or on the ground.  However, other sources said the plane was about to depart for Mwanza when it was discovered that one of its cockpit windows was broken.

The plane was grounded until after midday yesterday, leaving passengers heading to the lakeside town stranded for several hours.

An ATCL official said some of the passengers had been booked in hotels in the city. Others who were scheduled to fly to Dar es Salaam were put on PrecisionAir flights.

No further details were obtained. “We will issue a press statement in Dar es Salaam,” the official said.

Meanwhile, over 100 ATCL passengers who were scheduled to travel to Dar es Salaam were stranded for several hours yesterday at Mwanza Airport after their plane failed to arrive.

The passengers, who were supposed to board the morning flight, said they had been at the airport since 7am and were still waiting by late evening.

An ATCL official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said delays were nothing unusual in the air travel industry.

But a Mwanza travel agent said they the plane that was to carry the passengers had returned to Dar es Salaam from KIA.

Additional reporting by Anthony Gervas in Mwanza

No comments:

Post a Comment