Passengers grateful as first international flights touch down in CT, Joburg

International travelers who arrived at Cape Town International Airport on Thursday said that they made use of the first commercial flight back to the city for varying reasons.

Passengers are welcomed by family and friends after the first international flight touched down at the Cape Town International Airport on 1 October 2020 after the South Africa government eased a coronavirus travel ban. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has welcomed the first international commercial flight that landed at OR Tambo International Airport.

Kubayi-Ngubane was part of a delegation that received the Lufthansa flight when it touched down at the airport on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the Department of Home Affairs issued a list of 60 countries that won’t be allowed to travel to South Africa for leisure purposes.

These countries include the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Argentina.

Kubayi-Ngubane said the list of prohibited countries would be reviewed: “We understand why the decision was taken and what comforts us is every two weeks, there will be a review. So, it’s not an issue that this list is permanent.”

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Meanwhile, international travelers who arrived at Cape Town International Airport on Thursday said that they made use of the first commercial flight back to the city for varying reasons.

The airport welcomed the first scheduled international commercial flights under new level 1 traveling rules yesterday.

First to arrive was an Emirates flight from Dubai, with the aircraft carrying around 50 passengers.

The excitement for some passengers arriving at the airport wasn’t the same as seen before.

Sthembile Dlamini expressed her gratitude that the international travel ban had been lifted for some countries, as she now could attend her sister’s funeral.

“I came home for an emergency. My sister passed away and the burial is tomorrow. I can never be so grateful… thank you.”

Sasha-Lee Bastik, a flight attendant, said that she last saw her family in February this year.

“My family is my support system, they keep me going, that’s why I’m coming home for two days.”

Another Capetonian was happy to see his wife again after five months.

“My wife’s waiting, I have to run.”

An Ethiopian Airlines flight also touched down yesterday afternoon.

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