Dar es Salaam. An Emirates Airbus A380 was forced to land in Dar es Salaam yesterday – the first time an aircraft of that size has had to land on Tanzanian soil.
Flight EK 701 had to be diverted from its usual route between Dubai and Mauritus due to bad weather.
Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA) director general Richard Mayongela said the aircraft landed at Julius Nyerere Interantional Airport for refuelling with 475 passengers on board.
The flight is expected to head off to Mauritius tomorrow when the weather clears, Mr Mayiongela told The Citizen over the phone from Dodoma.
TAA Police Commander Matanga Mbushi said the aircraft tried to land in Mauritius three times and failed, before the pilot decided to divert it to Dar es Salaam.
“Due to heavy rains (the aircraft) was unable to land (in Mauritius), forcing it to divert from its original route,” he said.
Manufactured by Airbus, the A380 is a double-decked, wide-body four-engine jetliner.
It is considered the world’s largest passenger airliner, so airports at which it operates have had to upgrade their facilities to accommodate it.