HomeAfrica-NewsFlySafair plane struck by SAA Airbus wingtip at OR Tambo airport

FlySafair plane struck by SAA Airbus wingtip at OR Tambo airport


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A grounded FlySafair plane was struck by an airbus wingtip on Friday.

Gallo Images/Jacques Stander

  • Two aircraft, the SAA Airbus A320 (ZS-SZJ) and the FlySafair (ZS-SJH) aircraft, are out of service.
  • This after a crane’s tow bar broke causing the SAA plane to swerve and hit a parked FlySafair aircraft.
  • There were no passengers on board.

The SAA Airbus A320 (ZS-SZJ) has been towed from the OR Tambo International Airport ramp to the maintenance facility after a crane’s tow bar broke, causing the plane to veer off course and hit an aircraft Parked FlySafair (ZS-SJH) on Friday afternoon.

The wingtip of the SAA aircraft and the empennage (tail) section of the Safair aircraft were damaged. There were no passengers aboard either aircraft at the time.

In a statement issued on Saturday, SAA said the ZS-SZJ was out of service while the damage was assessed. Both the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have been notified.

The airline said that as a result of the incident, flight SA357/372 from Johannesburg to Cape Town had been canceled and passengers had been accommodated on SA359/374. He added that SA323/334 had been upgraded to operate A333 and that the new estimated departure time for SA334 was 13:05, due to rotation.

“This is truly an unfortunate development as it takes the seating capacity of two aircraft, an SAA A320 and a FlySafair B737, out of the market at a time when our passengers are experiencing higher ticket prices due to the limited availability of aircraft in our home market,” said SAA Chief Executive Officer and CEO John Lamola

Earlier on Saturday, News24 reported that a FlySafair aircraft was involved in a ground incident after being struck by an Airbus SAA at OR Tambo International Airport on Friday night.

According to FlySafair, the Boeing 737-800 was parked at gate C2.

“The aircraft was parked and out of service when the rear (rear) section was struck by the wingtip of an SAA Airbus A320, which was being towed into the parking lot,” the airline said.

Technical teams and insurers are still investigating the full extent of the damage to the FlySafair aircraft. The aircraft is set to remain out of service until fully repaired and shut down.

The airline said it had informed all relevant authorities about the incident.

“At this stage, the airline does not anticipate any disruption to scheduled operations. A backup aircraft has been deployed to ensure all flights depart on time.”

Airports Company South Africa general manager Jabu Khambule said the incident occurred when a plane being towed broke free of its towbar and struck another parked plane.

“The incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and investigations are ongoing. No passengers or staff were injured in the incident,” Khambule added.


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