Government allegedly refusing international airlines repatriating SA citizens landing rights
5 June 2020
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to the Ministers of Public Enterprises and International Relations and Cooperation, Pravin Gordhan and Naledi Pandor, to request clarity on allegations that South African authorities are refusing landing rights to international airlines that are repatriating South African citizens.
South Africans who have been stranded abroad were finally and with great relief set to return home today from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight (TB8701) however, they have been informed that the flight is not cleared to land in South Africa.
We have also received reports that two Ethiopian Airline flights have not been allowed to take off to land in South Africa due to not being given the necessary permission.
The theory being bandied about is that South African authorities have allegedly unilaterally decided that the bankrupt SAA should be given preference for international flights repatriating citizens to South Africa. As a consequence, there are reports that foreign airlines that are transporting South Africans home, may be refused landing rights in South Africa this weekend. This could potentially create a knock-on effect for foreign citizens currently in South Africa who want to return to their home countries.