South African Airways (SAA) has concluded an agreement with the Brazilian government to charter a flight to return Brazilian nationals back to their home country today.
"SAA has concluded an agreement with the Brazilian government to charter a SAA flight to return Brazilian nationals to Sao Paulo on 6 April," said the national carrier in a tweet on Monday.
The national carrier expressed pride at being of service in the repatriation.
The repatriation of Brazilian nationals comes as South Africa entered day 11 of the national 21-day lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
On 22 March, the South African government took the decision to declare a national lockdown, starting at midnight on 26 March to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In response to the pandemic, SAA has suspended all domestic, regional and international flights.
In a statement last week, SAA's Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) said subsequent to the lockdown, representatives of several governments have engaged with the joint BRPs of SAA to consider having SAA provide the safe passage of their citizens to their respective home countries.
These engagements have required the consideration, approval and support of the South African government to implement.
Following the engagements with various embassies and in consultation with the relevant government departments, SAA has agreed to provide repatriation charter flights to various international destinations.
The first of these chartered flights was for the repatriation of German citizens to their home country last week.
"The BRPs have confirmed that negotiations are ongoing with other governments for the repatriation of their citizens. SAA will operate the charter services, subject to the health and safety provisions contained in the regulations and other relevant provisions during the lockdown," said SAA's BRPs last week.
Meanwhile, at least 16 South Africans, who were stranded in Dubai and Doha, respectively, returned to home soil last Thursday.
According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), the group's return follows the relaxation of the State of Disaster regulations to allow South Africans stranded abroad to travel back home.
The group is currently under quarantine, as per the regulations.