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Mon, 14 Jan 2019 17:38 - Updated Tue, 15 Jan 2019 10:12

TAP pilot forced stopover at Pointe Noire

Luanda - The decision to land the TAP plane on a Lisbon-Luanda flight in the Congolese city of Pointe Noire last Saturday (January 12), due to the departure from Luanda of the flight carrying Angolan President João Lourenço to Dubai, "was entirely up to the captain" of that Portuguese company, Angop has learned.

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TAP airplane (file photo)

Photo: LUANDA

A source linked to the Angolan Ministry of Transport said on Monday that the measure "was not justified at all in the light of local procedures."

According to the source, "when the current President of the Republic travels the Angolan airspace is closed only for 15 minutes, during which time the TAP plane could have taken a turn and returned to the Airport 4 de Fevereiro, to land normally."

Instead, he explained, "the flight captain decided to travel for 45 minutes to Pointe Noire, where he stayed for about two hours."

Thus, with the round trip between Luanda and that Congolese city, as well as the waiting time in the latter, the flight in question only landed in the Angolan capital well after midnight, which happened at 21:05 local time, " he said.

The source of the Ministry of Transport told Angop that the control tower of the4 de Fevereiro Airport kept in touch with the TAAG airplance captain, informing him that  his waiting time in the air would be of only 15 minutes.

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