14 January 2019

Angola: Tap Pilot Forced Stopover in Black Point

Luanda — The decision to land the TAP plane flying a Lisbon-Luanda flight in the Congolese city of Black Point last Saturday (January 12), due to the departure from Luanda of the flight carrying Angolan President João Lourenço heading to Dubai, "was entirely up to the commander" of that Portuguese company, ANGOP has learned.

A source linked to the Angolan Ministry of Transport said on Monday that the measure "was not justified at all in the light of local procedures."

According to the source, "when the current President of the Republic travels the Angolan airspace is closed only for 15 minutes, during which time the TAP plane could have taken a turn and returned to the Airport 4 de Fevereiro, to land in normally."

Instead, he explained, "the flight commander decided to travel for 45 minutes to Black Point, where he stayed for about two hours."

Thus, with the round trip between Luanda and that Congolese city, as well as the waiting time in the latter, the flight in question only landed in the Angolan capital well after midnight, which happened at 21:05 local time, "he said.

The source of the Ministry of Transport told Angop that the control tower of the airport 4 de Fevereiro always kept in contact with the commander of the airplane, to which he informed that his waiting time in the air would be only of 15 minutes.

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