South African private-sector airline company CemAir has announced the successful conclusion of a repatriation flight which it had operated, bringing South Africans home from Middle Eastern and African countries. The flight, using a CRJ900 90-seat jet airliner (usually employed for regional operations) landed at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday, carrying 80 South Africans.
The repatriated South Africans were brought back from Uganda, Jordan and Iraq. They had been stranded abroad for almost four months. Some of them had been suffering from increasingly straitened circumstances, having to share accommodation or even having to rely on charity, the airline reported.
The CRJ900 left South Africa on Monday. It made stops (to disembark and embark passengers, make crew changes, and for operational reasons) at Entebbe in Uganda, Khartoum in Sudan, Amman in Jordan and Erbil and Basra in Iraq. It returned to South Africa with stops at Djibouti and Entebbe.
“Thank you to the flight crew, cabin crew, flight operations and ground crew for your professional and efficient conduct,” highlighted the company. CemAir also thanked the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) and the Department of Transport for helping in arranging and supporting the flight.
The airline further thanked specific government officials by name. These were Andries Ntjane, Owen Rikhotso and Felix Gosher (apparently from the Department of Transport) and, from Dirco, South African Ambassador to Jordan Ebrahim Saley, an Ambassador Naidoo (no first name given) and South African High Commission in Uganda official Rudi Conley.
The repatriated passengers will now be quarantined for 14 days. CemAir has now carried out repatriation flights to and from 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East. These missions have brought home more than 1 000 South Africans.