South Africa: First Inward and Outward Evacuation Flights Bring Relief to Some Stranded Passengers.

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The rescue flights were the first since Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula eased the complete ban on all flights which he had imposed last Wednesday.

The first evacuation flight of South Africans stranded abroad by the coronavirus lockdown arrived at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport today, with just eight people on board who had spent an uncomfortable eight days at Dubai airport.

Earlier in the day, the first batch of foreigners who had been stranded in South Africa, more than 300 Brazilians as well as a few other South American passengers, left OR Tambo on a Latam Airlines flight for Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The inward and outward rescue flights were the first since Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula eased the complete ban on all flights which he had imposed last Wednesday. He had announced on Tuesday 31 March that incoming evacuation flights would be allowed, but only for South Africans who had valid return tickets.

He also cleared outward evacuation flights, but again stipulated that only foreign aircrews would be allowed in on those flights and no passengers.

Emirates Airlines and Dubai airport - which was also under lockdown - responded immediately to the relaxation of the South African ban by arranging...

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