After 25 days on the ground due to an engine failure, Air Zimbabwe’s Boeing 767-200ER named Chimanimani and registered Z-WPF is back in service and finally landed in Harare in the early hours on the 28th of July.
The 30 year old aircraft on 01 July was operating a reparation flight to Islamabad, Pakistan for Zimbabweans and South Africans when the crew received an abnormal engine indication and turned back to Suvarnabhumi International Airport BKK.
Air Zimbabwe sent a replacement engine to Bangkok that ended up being installed by All Nippon Airways engineers. This was due to ten Air Zimbabwe engineers being denied entry into Thailand on health quarantine grounds.
According to a Zimbabwean daily The Herald, “The plane underwent its needed engine change in Bangkok on Thursday and Friday and was certified to fly again by the Thai and Zimbabwe civil aviation authorities and Boeing. The engine change was undertaken with the help of Thai and Bangkok-based Japanese All Nippon Airways engineers under supervision of the two Air Zimbabwe engineers.”
Air Zimbabwe’s partner Maple Aviation said in a Facebook post on 22 July “The engine is here, all processes are being complied with according to the manufacturers guidelines. We will have further updates shortly. The number one priority is safety and regulatory compliance. Please be patient”.
Once certified airworthy, Air Zimbabwe in partnership with Maple Aviation dispatched the aircraft to Guangzhou, China to collect stranded South Africans before returning to Kuala Lumpur for another deployment.
The multiple repatriation flight saw the Air Zimbabwe B767 returning to Wuhan, China to collect Zimbabwean and Zambian citizens stranded in the Chinese city before returning to Kuala Lumpur.
Maple Aviation on the multiple destination flight added “started the early hours of Sunday morning, Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur – Guangzhou – Kuala Lumpur – Wuhan – Kuala Lumpur – Johannesburg then finally Harare.
Air Zimbabwe tweeted “Finally our “Chimanimani” landed at RGMIA at 0715hrs today, #ReunitingFamilies and loved ones during this difficult time of the #COVID19 pandemic. Thank you #MapleAviation and much appreciation to team Air Zimbabwe crew.
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