Joburg to Mthatha flight turned away for arriving 10 minutes after closing time – report

Joburg to Mthatha flight turned away for arriving 10 minutes after closing time – report

The Eastern Cape transport department has blamed SA Express for a flight from Johannesburg to Mthatha being turned away from the airport when it attempted to land 10 minutes after its closing time, Dispatch Live reported.Department spokesperson Unathi Binqose said SA Express continued to ignore operating procedures, including landing and taking off on time and reporting technical problems, amid what the publication referred to as ongoing tensions between the airline and management of the government-run airport.The airline’s spokesperson Mpho Majatladi said the passengers aboard flight SA1447 were booked into a hotel after the flight was delayed and subsequently cancelled following a technical delay.She told the publication that by the time the aircraft was serviceable and ready for takeoff, Mthatha Airport and the relevant service providers were in the process of closing.Passengers were accommodated on a flight the next morning.Majatladi said the airline strived for consistent on-time performance but that the passengers and crews’ safety was of utmost priority.But according to Binqose, the department discussed recent challenges experienced with SA Express regarding set guidelines, with the airline committing to adhere to operating standards, specifically relating to flying out of and landing at the Mthatha Airport.SA Express, Binqose said, has ignored those procedures, such as failing to communicate and make necessary arrangements when experiencing “unforeseen challenges”.- Compiled by Tammy Petersen
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