Harare airport bird strike grounds Fastjet aircraft

HARARE – A Fastjet aircraft was grounded recently after experiencing a bird strike upon landing at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

The incident, according to a statement by the company’s Corporate Communications department, contributed to the breakdown of flight schedules and travel disruptions experienced in recent days.

“Earlier this week, one of the airline’s aircraft was involved in a bird strike whilst on its approach into Harare, RG Mugabe International Airport International Airport, with damage requiring an outsized replacement part which needed specialised shipping to Harare,” read a company statement.

“The part was fitted yesterday in accordance with the manufacturer’s approved maintenance procedures.

“The aircraft has since returned to regular service today operating the airline’s published timetable.”

A bird strike is strictly defined as a collision between a bird and an aircraft which is in flight or on a take off or landing roll.

Fastjet apologised to customers for the inconvenience caused by the crisis.

The company said the “untimely and unforeseeable bird strike event coincided with one of the airline’s other aircraft being in scheduled maintenance which was planned in accordance with the approved maintenance programme”.

“These two events meant that both aircraft were out of the airline’s operational fleet simultaneously, necessitating the changes to the flying programme.”

The airline also experienced some disruptions due to adverse weather conditions at some of the airports it flies to, something that impacted subsequent flights throughout the day.

Added airline spokesperson Nunurai Ndawana, “Whilst the majority of flights are operating to the published times, some flights may still experience unintended disruptions as our operations and customer services teams work to return flights to our usual reliable services.

“Where the situation permits, the airline shall make endeavours to contact all affected customers. Managing unplanned disruptions is likely to affect the network schedule, and we make all efforts to minimise the impact on our valued customers whilst ensuring that safety remains our top priority”.

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