Ethiopian Airlines pilot lands at wrong Zambia airport

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 777F Cargo Aircraft with registration ET-ARI landing in Brussels National Airport Zavantem BRU EBBR. The airplane is a freight variant of Boeing 777, the Boeing 777-F60 with two GE90 engines. Ethiopian Airlines is the flag carrier of Ethiopia, owned by the government. The airline is a Star Alliance member and the airline hub is based in Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa ADD HAAB. The airlines operates 112 aircraft, 9 of them are cargo. (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 777F Cargo Aircraft . (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto 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 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 15 kilometers (nine miles) 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.


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