Ethiopian Airlines pilot lands at wrong Zambia airport

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
(Photo by Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo by Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

An Ethiopian Airlines cargo plane flying into Zambia accidentally landed at an airport that is still under construction, a government official said on Monday.

The plane hit the tarmac on Sunday at the uncompleted airport in Zambia's northern Copperbelt province, which is currently served by the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport around 15km away.

The transport ministry's permanent secretary Misheck Lungu said the pilot had landed at the future Copperbelt International Airport "by error".

"When he was about to land he was communicating with the radar and they told him, 'We can't see you'," Lungu told AFP.

"So he used his sight as he had no control and landed at an airport still under construction."

Lungu added that no damage resulted and said investigators would issue a "comprehensive report" on the incident.

The pilot later flew the plane to its original destination.

Ethiopian Airlines was not immediately available for comment.

The opening of the Chinese-built Copperbelt International Airport, initially scheduled for mid-2020, was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Cargo flights have helped Ethiopian Airlines remain financially viable during the pandemic, with Africa's largest carrier repurposing dozens of passenger planes as freight transporters.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
As a child or as an adult, have you ever been a victim of bullying?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, at school
55% - 2119 votes
Yes, at work
17% - 653 votes
No, I've never experienced this
28% - 1072 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.22
(-0.8)
GBP/ZAR
19.89
(+0.3)
EUR/ZAR
17.12
(-0.2)
AUD/ZAR
11.03
(-0.4)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(-0.2)
Gold
1,770.56
(-0.3)
Silver
25.83
(-0.6)
Platinum
1,209.50
(+0.5)
Brent Crude
66.77
(-0.3)
Palladium
2,816.66
(+1.3)
All Share
68,094
(-0.9)
Top 40
62,326
(-0.9)
Financial 15
12,417
(-0.2)
Industrial 25
88,303
(-1.2)
Resource 10
69,786
(-0.8)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo