The Western Global Airlines (WGA) MD-11 freighter in which the body of a stowaway was found on in Harare, Zimbabwe, has finally completed its journey after leaving Africa at the weekend.
A deceased man was found on the aircraft, which was carrying a shipment for the South African Reserve Bank on 14 February and had been holed up in Harare while investigations into the incident took place.
The MD-11 was leased by WGA to Network Airline Management and had flown from Munich (Germany).
WGA chief executive officer, Jim Neff says: “We are pleased to report that the Western Global MD-11 aircraft and crew which had been held in Harare, Zimbabwe safely departed the Harare International Airport last night with all its cargo onboard and successfully completed the last leg of its charter flight from Germany to South Africa.
“Last night, the Zimbabwean Civil Aviation Authority and its other government agencies completed their investigation into the presence of a deceased stowaway aboard this aircraft with no finding of any wrongdoing on the part of the company or our crew.
“Our thanks go out to Zimbabwe’s officials and citizens who treated our crew respectfully and considerately throughout this event. We are also immensely grateful to the US Department of State, the US Embassy staff in Zimbabwe, the government of South Africa and to our flight support and management team who assisted our crew on the ground.
“The highest praise, however, goes to our flight crew who at every step of this matter conducted themselves with the utmost poise and professionalism.”
The MD-11 had stopped to refuel at Harare’s domestic airport when the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) discovered the body in the lower compartment and impounded the aircraft.