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Maintenance suspended Fate of Swiss Ju-52 flights hangs in the balance

Ju-52 aircraft

Ju-Air is adamant that its aircraft will return to the skies in 2021.

(Keystone / Uwe Anspach)

The operators of three vintage Ju-52 aircraft remain hopeful that they can take to the air again despite maintenance of the machines being stopped by the Swiss authorities. The aircraft have been grounded since November following a fatal crash last year.

Twenty people were killed when a 79-year-old Ju-52 crashed in eastern Switzerland in August 2018. The remaining aircraft were temporarily allowed to fly again, but this was revoked in November, forcing the planes to be grounded for maintenance.

According to a report in the SonntagsZeitung newspaper, the Federal Office of Civil Aviationexternal link recently put a stop to this overhaul of the remaining aircraft because the maintenance being carried out did not meet requirements. The two companies carrying out the maintenance have reportedly had their licenses to do this work withdrawn.

This followed a decision in March to revoke Ju-Air’s commercial flight license, only allowing certain private flights to take place in future.

A Ju-Airexternal link company spokesperson told the SonntagsZeitung that the freezing of maintenance on the aircraft is a “temporary” measure. The firm remains committed to its earlier statementexternal link that certain flights will resume in Spring 2021.

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