321 aboard repatriation flight from Johannesburg to Brazil

Passengers were permitted to depart from OR Tambo to Sao Paulo on April 1 2020 amid the coronavirus lockdown.
Passengers were permitted to depart from OR Tambo to Sao Paulo on April 1 2020 amid the coronavirus lockdown.
Image: SUPPLIED/LATAM

A flight bound for Sao Paulo in Brazil departed OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) confirmed.

This was the first repatriation flight permitted in terms of revised regulations announced on Tuesday by transport minister Fikile Mbalula.

Acsa said 321 passengers boarded the LATAM flight.

“We are very grateful to our staff and the various role players who moved quickly overnight to ensure the successful facilitation of this repatriation flight,” said Acsa group executive for corporate affairs Refentse Shinners. “We are especially appreciative of the work done by officials of the Brazilian embassy who managed the process exceptionally well and ensured that the passengers were safely transferred to the airport by bus,” she added.

The crew of the LATAM aircraft did not disembark.

Acsa said the aircraft carried an additional 16 crew members so that it could do a crew change at the airport. “The 16 crew members for the flight into South Africa therefore returned to Brazil as passengers.”

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