SA passengers hit by flight delays

Another local flight, this time involving an aircraft belonging to South African Express, was delayed on Tuesday in George, it was disclosed on Wednesday.

This followed the delay of a South African Airways (SAA) flight in East London — also on Tuesday.

The South African Express flight, bound for OR Tambo international Airport in Johannesburg, was delayed for more than 12 hours in George.

South African Express spokesperson Diseleng Koetle said on Wednesday that the airline’s right-hand main landing gear left the taxiway after landing at George airport at 6.50pm on Tuesday.

“After landing, the aircraft exited the runway and proceeded on to the taxiway. During the taxi on to the apron, the aircraft’s right-hand main landing gear left the taxiway,” Koetle said.

An aircraft travels at a slow pace once on the taxiway, so the passengers were in no danger, said Koetle.

“An engineer was sent to inspect the aircraft. No one was injured,” she said.

Passengers due to leave for Johannesburg on Tuesday were accommodated in a hotel in George until taking a Wednesday morning flight, she said.

In another incident, an SAA flight bound for OR Tambo International Airport was on Tuesday delayed for four hours in East London.

SAA spokesperson Robyn Chalmers said the flight was delayed due to a faulty hinge on the front entry door of the aircraft.

Passengers on the aircraft who were due to leave on the SA480 flight at 5.20pm on Tuesday were asked to disembark from the Boeing 737-800 while technicians worked on the fault.

“A majority of passengers were accommodated on another flight, which departed at 9.30pm on Tuesday night,” said Chalmers.

The remaining passengers were accommodated in a hotel in East London until taking a Wednesday 8am flight to Johannesburg, she said.

All airlines experienced delays, some caused by technical problems, some due to the weather or air navigation — SAA was no exception, said Chalmers. — Sapa

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