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TRAVELLERS on the Emirates flight EK714 from Lusaka to Dubai on Friday night were gripped by fear when, 40 minutes after take-off, the plane had to return to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) after it developed a technical fault.

Sources on the plane said the flight, which took off around 21:40 hours from KKIA, was turned back mid-air after the passengers were informed by the pilot that it had developed a technical fault and, therefore, needed to land to guarantee safety of all passengers aboard.

The passengers, who landed at KKIA around 23:00 hours on Friday night, were accommodated at Pamodzi Hotel. A check by the Sunday Mail on Saturday morning found them on airport transfers from the hotel.

The passengers, in an interview, said they were being transferred to the airport in readiness for a scheduled flight on the same plane.

“We have been assured that the plane has been effectively worked on by the technicians and our transfers to various destinations from Dubai have been arranged. All passengers have been advised to leave the hotel by 11:50 hours,” said one passenger who sought anonymity.

And in a statement released by Emirates yesterday, the airline said all the passengers disembarked normally and that the airline provided overnight hotel accommodation for the affected passengers.

“The flight is now scheduled to depart 15:30 local time on 14 November [yesterday]. Passengers connecting from Dubai will be rebooked on the next available flights,” the statement read in part.

The airline apologised for the inconvenience caused and has reiterated its commitment to the safety of its customers and staff. No specific problem has been stated regarding what caused the technical fault.

This is the second time that Emirates has suffered a similar incident. In 2012, Airbus A330-200, registration A6-EAP flight EK-714 from Lusaka to Dubai was enroute about 30 minutes into the flight when the left hand engine emitted a loud bang prompting the crew to shut it and return to Lusaka for a safe landing.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. These over-seas airlines always send either the worst or the oldest planes to Africa… And yet we pay the highest air fees

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    • @Jason. You cannot blame them. Our African airports are lacking in modern technology and cannot accommodate the latest planes. Our own fault, no?

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    • @Awe Sure: Ethiopian Airlines uses the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Addis-Lusaka-Harare route. That’s the latest aircraft, and perhaps proof that our dilapidated airports can still accomodate latest planes

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  2. Yes the Air bus A330-200 does not fly to SA or Europe they use larger and more comfortable crafts…but hey thanks to the pilots for landing safely and ensuring all on board were safe

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    • The plane in question is not A300-200. The above plane is the seater for 250 passengers which mmembe claimed that ecl chartered for those of you who were just yapping.

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  3. @Awe Sure. In that case then why don’t we pay lower air fees? If we’re paying higher fees as compared to others countries then we should at least be entitled to the same planes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about the larger aircrafts that can’t land at KK

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  4. Guys I have been a frequent flyer on the Lusaka Dubai route so can share my thoughts. When Emirates commenced direct flights between Dubai and Lusaka they scheduled the more comfortable and latest Boeing 777-300 or 300er. Now come a few years down the line they have replaced that aircraft with the older Airbus A340-300 or 200. This to me shows that they don’t care anymore about the confort of the Zambians and Zimbabweans now that they got them cajoled.

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