Cape Town – Passengers flying on board the 6:30am FlySafair flight FA1300 from Cape Town en route to Port Elizabeth had the unfortunate experience of a sudden drop in cabin pressure, which resulted in oxygen masks deploying from overhead panels.
FlySafair confirmed in a statement that the incident took place while the plane was flying over Mossel Bay.
“As the safety of our passengers and crew is always our top priority, our pilots and cabin crew immediately followed all safety procedures, and made the decision to turn back to Cape Town, with the flight landing safely at 7am.”
“Medical assistance was on standby, and we’re glad to report that there were no serious injuries,” FlySafair Vice President Marketing Kirby Gordon said.
The airline said it was in constant communication with all passengers affected by today’s incident and the deployment of a back-up aircraft was set in action by 08:00 on Wednesday morning to complete the remaining schedule for the day.
The incident in turn caused unexpected delays for two flights, from Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, leaving affected passengers fuming.
The affected flights were FA1300 – from CPT – PLZ (cancelled), FA1301 – PLZ – CPT (delayed) and FA1400 – CPT – JNB (delayed).
The airline said its airport teams were doing everything possible to ensure that waiting passengers are comfortable.
“We’ve issued everyone with meal vouchers so that they can grab something to eat in the meantime and we are catering as best we can to any passengers with special needs. Ground teams are first port of call for our passengers if they have any queries,” said Gordon.
Affected passengers could also phone 087 135 1351.
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“Unfortunately today’s incident was due to an unpredictable technical issue. We are, of course, taking this matter extremely seriously and will be conducting a thorough audit as to what caused the technicality as well our processes in dealing with the turn-around to ensure that we continually improve our service,” Gordon said.
“The Boeing 737-400 aircraft that we fly is one of the most reliable aircraft in the world, favoured by airlines that conduct short to medium hauls such as those we cover domestically in South Africa. It is estimated that there are 2 033 of these craft in operation around the world. The aircraft has one of the top safety records in the world.”
“We take on time performance and safety very seriously and have completed 1622 flights since the beginning of the year with 96.30% on time performance as measured by ACSA, this is one of the best amongst all South African domestic carriers and well above the ACSA goal of 87%” said Gordon.
“Safair Operations, and in turn FlySafair, are also fully IOSA compliant. IOSA is the global IATA safety standard for airline operations and safety management”.
“We sincerely apologise to our passengers and crew who were affected and we also thank them for displaying a great deal of patience in the face of this incident and our staff that followed safety procedures to the letter ensuring a successful outcome, your professionalism is genuinely appreciated,” concludes Gordon.