Air France A330 Shot At In Congo

Filed Under: Air France/KLM

Well this is downright puzzling…

Air France was operating repatriation flight

Air France is operating a lot of repatriation flights at the moment, and yesterday the airline operated a flight from Paris to Pointe-Noire, in the Republic of the Congo. The flight was operated by an Airbus A330-200 with the registration code F-GZCK. This was a 17 year old A330.

The flight was supposed to spend the night at the airport so that the crew could get some rest before operating the repatriation flight back to Paris at 10AM this morning.

The plane was supposed to bring over 200 people back to France — roughly half were supposed to come from the Republic of the Congo, and the other half were supposed to come from Bangui, in the Central African Republic, as the plane was supposed to continue to there.

Well, unfortunately the flight has been delayed by 24 hours, due to what happened to the plane.

Air France A330 shot at

The Air France A330 landed at Pointe-Noire Airport in the evening, and at around 11PM last night was shot at by a member of the Congolese Armed Forces.

What’s not known is why the plane was fired at, as there are some conflicting reports, while an investigation is being done:

  • Some say the member of the armed force who was shooting was intoxicated
  • Some say he was trying to stop the spread of COVID-19 and was scared of the plane, since it was coming from France
  • No matter the actual reason, there’s no excuse for shooting at a parked plane that’s operating as scheduled

At least they figured out who was behind the shooting, and arrested him.

Air France sends in rescue plane

Given that the first plane was shot at, Air France has today flown a Boeing 777-200 to Pointe-Noire, which landed just a couple of hours ago. That plane has the registration code F-GSPG.

The plane is carrying a crew that will lay over in Congo, as well as some technicians who will be performing work on the damaged A330.

The 777 is expected to operate the scheduled flight tomorrow, just 24 hours behind schedule.

Bottom line

How bizarre to see a commercial airliner shot at by airport officials while parked at an airport. I’m curious to see what a full investigation of the incident determines. At least the person behind the shooting is in custody…

(Featured image courtesy of Airwim)

Comments
  1. Maybe it’s both. An intoxicated member of the guard who was scared that the plane was coming with the virus?

  2. I am very very surprised that Air France was going to have their crew staying over in the Congo. Though exhausting, I am surprised that Air France did not send two crews, with none laying over in Congo as Brazzaville is not safe, nor have adequate healthcare facilities in the case that something happened to the crew.

  3. The fact that two doctors debating vaccine trials on a French tv channel suggested testing should take place in Africa (like if they were guinea pigs) may be a good reason as well.

  4. @mauricio Unfortunately, many people only take note of the news that has the potential to change their lives. I’m willing to wager that many people have no idea what you’re talking about despite reading Ben’s article on a computer. That’s the unfortunate side of stories like this.

  5. Most of new coronavirus cases in Africa are imported from travelers from Europe. So their is heighten anger, confusion, and anxiety toward those coming from Europe these days!
    Intoxication will only exasperate the situation!

  6. I think you are severely underestimating the ill-will (hatred) against France that is presently permeating throughout West Africa following the suggestion by French doctors to test vaccines in this region.

    It was a matter of time before something like this happened and fortunately it was a parked plane that bore the brunt of the anger rather than actual humans.

    I live next door to the French Embassy here and they have increased security significantly over the last few days since that interview went public.

  7. Nobody will force any African nation to be the first ones to get the vaccine. But the response here shows Africa’s sad problem: they’ve been independent for the better part of 3 generations.
    If Congo is a mess, it’s fully the fault of Congo’s authorities at this point.

    I am pretty sure the 777-200 carried a decent number of troops, too. Any word on that?

  8. @Matt Fortini

    How smooth is your brain to look at literal centuries of slavery, foreign resource extraction, and governance based on European-drawn jurisdiction lines rather than self-created institutions and say “gee golly they haven’t recovered from all that in 60 years, guess they just can’t govern themselves properly.”

  9. @ DKB and Jason:

    Pointe Noire is in Congo, the republic of Congo, and the Congo. The DRC is a different country, probably the only example of countries with two capitals distant of 4 miles, Brazzaville and Kinshasa, separated by the river Congo, both cities existing for over a century and never linked by a bridge. Yes, I have been to both and both are a mess, with Brazzaville probably less unpleasant to stay in.

    @ Elijah: U are so right.

  10. @Jason Pointe Noire is absolutely in the Republic of Congo.

    I’ve spent time in both Pointe Noire and Brazzaville in the last few years. I’ve also spent time in Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Pointe Noire was incredibly beautiful. I had a hotel right on the beach. Dinner and a few beers at night, watching the sunset and the ships lined up to get into port. I never once felt unsafe. But like any foreign country, you have to be smart. My guess is the guy was high, loaded, or both.

  11. @Ben L.

    I guess South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, among other countries, should just blame colonial powers and shoot at planes They barely even have natural resources to exploit. Not fair! Did European Jews let the Nazis and other player haters keep them from creating a global banking and media cabal? Their lawyers could no doubt get the pharaohs to pay up reparations. Who is to blame for your smooth brain? Let’s find a trial lawyer to sue his/her/their/they’z pants off.

  12. Poorly thought through on both accounts. They should have had a second crew on board so that they could quickly continue the route and not let the crew stay for rest. (e.g. two sets of crew one working and one resting who could work on the way back)

  13. The Congos are both unmitigated disasters. The gentleman who stayed in Pointe Noir I assumes has friends in The Congo. No one in their right mind would go to the Congo Brazzaville for a vacation. Same applies to the similar shit hole across the river. Are people still going to see the Mountain gorillas in Kivu? I assume not since the corona virus broke out in early Mar. and the Ebola virus has broken out again in the big Congo Time to LEAVE!!

  14. wait sorry I’m confused. Why is Brazzaville even in the conversation?… I thought Lucky said the crew and the plane had a layover in Pointe-Noire and I don’t recall Brazzaville at all from the article.

  15. Doubtless Air France’s Unions would veto dead heading a crew for immediate return operation because it wouldn’t take a major heritage carrier like Air France to figure out this could save money on hotel and allowances permanently, and attempt to incorporate it in crew schedules. Willy Walsh would be rubbing his hands with glee! In these days of 14-20 hour flights, a 6/7 hour each way turnaround is beginning to look feasible!
    In today’s circumstances, as an ex FA, my choice would certainly be to stay on board and get back home.

  16. @lucky you really need to monitor your comments better – is a comment on a cabal of holocaust surviving Jews really the kind of comment you want to keep around? You’re not the government so free speech is lucky speech.

  17. The situation in Congo is very sad and is even worse than what’s happening in Darfur. It’s DarFive.

  18. @Jiawei – Sometimes the ROC is referred to as Congo Brazzaville, and the DROC as Congo Kinshasa. Besides that idk.

  19. What is creepy and gross is that people like Ben L., Simon and Hosea can’t recognize hyperbole and find the need to tattle to the teacher while failing to realize that their posturing doesn’t recognize the agency of the people they use as props for their virtue signalling. No doubt they are smug, sanctimonious sorts who revel in the aroma of their own flatulence. I don’t expect them to have any substantive response regarding the success of the Asian tigers or Ashkenazi Jews; they are likely too busy sniffing said flatulence.

  20. This is Africa. Not puzzled at all.

    You might have travelled the world, Lucky, but you haven’t experienced it.

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