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A flight will leave tonight for Wuhan, China as South Africa begins its repatriation of citizens affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
The flight, labelled as SA2288, will bring home 122 South Africans from the Chinese city. It’s scheduled to depart OR Tambo International Airport at 9am tonight.
According to flight departure listings by FlightRadar24, the plane used will be a South African Airways Airbus A340-600 with tail number ZS-SND.
President @CyrilRamaphosa and Minister #ZweliMkhize on a walkabout at OR Tambo International Airport ahead of military personnel and @health medical personnel leaving to Wuhan, China pic.twitter.com/IlghGcyuav
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) March 10, 2020
That specific aircraft performed its last commercial flight back in February, according to PlaneFinder, when it returned home from a flight to Frankfurt. A newer Airbus A350-900 now performs this flight.
ZS-SND was one of the nine planes listed as for sale by SAA late last year.
The plane won’t fly directly to Wuhan, instead landing in the Philippines at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Wednesday around 4pm. It’ll then fly to the Chinese city returning to South Africa on Thursday.
You can track the repatriation flight in the air here.
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