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Bird attack grounds Air Zimbabwe's A-320 after maiden flight


08:42, May 30, 2013

HARARE, May 29 (Xinhua) -- An Airbus A-320 aircraft, operated by Air Zimbabwe, was grounded by a bird attack in South African capital Johannesburg after its maiden voyage, dimming the hope that business of Zimbabwe's state-owned airline may soon rebound after being crippled by overwhelming debts earlier last year.

The bird attack even cracked the plane's windscreen, local media reported Wednesday, adding that it remains unclear when the plane can fly again. The terse report on Herald newspaper's website cited Air Zimbabwe's senior officials confirming the accident but gave no more details.

Air Zimbabwe has been undergoing a series of structure reforms to become operational and profitable after all its flights were grounded earlier last year due to an estimated overhanging debt of 100 million U.S. dollars.

The government injected 8.5 million U.S. dollars to the parastatal last year to retire most of its debts to South African creditors.

The airline currently operate only three daily flights, including two domestic and one international. The accident occurred only two days after media fanfare over the replacement of the airline's aged B-767 aircraft with a new A-320 on the Harare- Johannesburg route.

Earlier media reports quoted Air Zimbabwe officials saying the introduction of the new plane is expected to "improve the airline's brand perception as it moves towards efforts to reclaim its market share."

The airline, whose fleet include one A-320, two B767-200s, three B737-200s and three China-made MA60s, has planned to introduce another A-320 on lease.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiangJun、Yao Chun)

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