An Airbus A330 plane belonging to the Lufthansa subsidiary was able to take off from Kinshasa to Brussels only on the third attempt, with a delay of two days. The passengers’ nerves were so frayed that some of them wanted to storm the Brussels Airlines plane.
Brussels Airlines is the Africa-focused airline of the Lufthansa Group. No other branch of the group has more destinations in its program on the second largest continent in the world in terms of area and population. The signs indicate growth. The airline recently announced that it will add a tenth Airbus A330 next summer and will resume flights to Nairobi.
While the future looks bright, there were turbulent scenes at Kinshasa airport over the weekend. Flight SN358 was scheduled to take off from the DRC capital to Belgium on Friday (September 15) at 8:50pm local time. There were 230 passengers on board the Brussels Airlines A330-300 with registration OO-SFF.
The passengers wanted to storm the plane
But due to a technical problem with the engine, the nearly 13-year-old machine had to be scrapped, the portal reported Aviation 24. The flight has been cancelled. New departure date: Saturday around 11:00 PM local time. But the technology didn’t cooperate on the second try either. The flight had to be canceled again.
View the condition @FlyingBrussels In Kinshasa. Two days after the canceled flight suite, people are not avoided due to cancellation reasons, and the inhuman attributes of passers-by like RDC and Africa in general are far greater than their actions. #Boycott_the_Brotherhood pic.twitter.com/uoin25cZlt
— ᴆᴧᴙᴋ ᴍᴏᴆᴇ (@princeofkongo) September 17, 2023
So much for some stranded travelers: About 70 passengers stormed the airport apron and tried to get onto the Airbus A330. Security forces had to intervene to protect the crew from attacks and deter the angry crowd from their plan. After about 45 minutes, the passengers returned to the airport lounge.
Third attempt works
Photos and videos on social networks show exhausted people. “We have waited 48 hours, exhausted and afraid.” The accusation against the airline is that no one provided any assistance with the delay. There was also no supply of food or drinks. “They treat us like dogs,” one passenger said.
Brussels Airlines denies these allegations and apologizes for the inconvenience. A company spokeswoman said: “Passengers were taken care of at all times.” Passengers who do not live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be provided with a hotel room. Their meal costs were also covered.
The A330 is still parked in Brussels
In the third attempt, the Brussels Airlines A330 took off for Brussels on Sunday evening and landed safely in Belgium after a flight that took seven and a half hours. However, data from flight tracking service Flightradar 24 shows that all OO-SFF flights have been canceled in the coming days.
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