Fastjet Zimbabwe has confirmed that one of its planes failed to land at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo on 26 January due to power cuts.
There was no backup generator available at the airport for the plane to make a safe landing.
The airliner’s spokesperson, Nunurai Ndawana, said the plane was forced to make an emergency u-turn to Harare where passengers disembarked and waited for hours. Said Ndawana:
Fastjet Zimbabwe confirms that their flight FN8441, 26 January 2022, from Harare to Bulawayo, was unable to continue to Bulawayo’s JM Nkomo International Airport due to the Airport Authority advising the crew that there was no power at the airport.
With no power available, this could affect the landing and navigation aids typically used by the crew when approaching and landing the airport.
As the safety and comfort of our passengers and crew is our top priority, the flight crew opted to return to Harare, where customers disembarked and remained at the terminal until power was restored at Bulawayo.
The flight operated a few hours later on, with all customers reaching their final intended destination.
The flight was being operated by the airline’s ERJ 145 aircraft.
The incident was not the first time that a plane had been forced to abort its landing at Joshua Nkomo International Airport.
In December 2021, two aircraft were unable to land at the airport because airport guidance systems failed.
The two aircraft that were affected by the incident were Fastjet (again) and Air Zimbabwe.