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First repatriation flight departs

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A total of 321 passengers boarded the LATAM flight for Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The first repatriation flight permitted in terms of revised regulations announced on Tuesday by Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula departed from the OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday morning.

 A total of 321 passengers boarded the LATAM flight for Sao Paulo, Brazil.

 Airports Company South Africa’s Group Executive for Corporate Affairs, Refentse Shinners, said there were no major challenges in making the necessary operational arrangements for the LATAM flight.

 “We are very grateful to our staff and the various roleplayers who moved quickly overnight to ensure the successful facilitation of this repatriation flight,” Shinners said.

 “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. 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.