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Ju-Air vintage aircrafts grounded for commercial flights

Following the decision by the aviation agency on Tuesday, the historic Ju-Air aircraft will remain grounded until further notice. Keystone

Switzerland’s aviation agency has revoked the commercial flight license for Ju-Air flights on vintage aircraft after a fatal accident in the Alps last year. Certain private flights may still be allowed.

This content was published on March 12, 2019 - 10:49
Keystone-SDA/jdp

The Federal Office of Civil Aviation said on Tuesday that it reassessed the risks of passenger flights with vintage airplanes after Ju-Air's 79-year-old Junkers Ju-52 crashed in southeastern Switzerland on August 4, killing all 20 people on board. It concluded that continuing commercial flights "no longer fulfills today's safety demands".

The decision is corroborated by the results of the accident investigations carried out by the Swiss Safety Investigation Service (SESE). Rules elsewhere in Europe are also set to be tightened this year.

In November 2018, Swiss authorities said it was temporarily grounding two Junkers Ju-52 vintage airplanes operated by the Ju-Air company based near Zurich after structural damage was discovered in the Ju-52 aircraft that crashed in August. 

However, in January, in an interview in the German-language newspaper SonntagsZeitung, Kurt Waldmeier, head of the Ju-Air company, indicated that the vintage propeller planes were slated to resume flights in the next few months. The Swiss civil aviation authority told the newspaper that all three aircraft would have to prove their airworthiness before it would lift Ju-Air’s flight suspension over Swiss skies.

Following the decision by the aviation agency on Tuesday, the historic Ju-Air aircraft will remain grounded until further notice.

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