Saturday, 4 April 2020

WE HAVE NO IDEA : CAAZ ON CHARTER FLIGHT TURNED AWAY IN SA


THE Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) is investigating reports that a private charter plane from Zimbabwe was on Wednesday turned away at OR Tambo International Airport in South Africa.

It was reported that a plane from Zimbabwe, landed at OR Tambo International Airport without authority, while ferrying an Italian national using a South African passport.

Under lockdown measures, only cargo planes ferrying essential goods are allowed to fly in the Zimbabwean airspace unless authorised. CAAZ acting spokesperson Mr David Kanyandu said investigations were underway.

“We saw the report on social media and since yesterday, I have been unsuccessfully trying to establish the truth. We are yet to find out whether or not the plane was from Zimbabwe.

“If that is true, we have to find out the circumstances under which it flew to South Africa,” said Mr Kanyandu.

Mr Kanyandu said CAAZ was following the given protocol in line with the measures put in place to control and prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“Our airspace is watertight and, for now, we are only allowing cargo planes that bring in emergency supplies like medical equipment, face masks, sanitisers and, other life-saving goods. 

“We also allow some other emergency flights, but I have no details of whether that particular plane was on the list of those authorised for the day,” he said.

Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Joel Biggie Matiza is on record saying the lockdown only allows authorised charter planes and cargo planes.

“Following the 21-day lockdown, Government decided to close all our airports except for Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo in Bulawayo, Victoria Falls Airport and the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare, which will be open for cargo and charter planes.

“Ethiopian Airways has been allowed to continue flying minimally and it will be used for ferrying our returning citizens and for diplomatic trips.” Herald

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