- A passenger was kicked out an FlySafair aircraft in Cape Town after he refused to wear a mask.
- The passenger became aggressive towards the cabin crew.
- FlySafair says that, instead of offering beverages, cabin crew members spend time asking passengers to wear masks.
FlySafair was forced to escort an unruly passenger off an aircraft on Tuesday after he refused to wear a mask on board.
According to the airline, Flight FA201 was supposed to depart from Cape Town International Airport at 08:50 and fly to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
But shortly after the doors closed and the stairs were retracted, a passenger "reacted negatively and aggressively toward the legal requirement that he wear his mask aboard the aircraft".
The captain was informed and it was decided that the passenger should be removed.
In a video circulating on social media, the passenger can be seen acting aggressively towards cabin crew members before several male passengers come to the aid of the cabin crew and defuse the situation.
"The flight deck team powered down and secured the aircraft, which was in the process of departure, and radioed for SAPS and for the stairs to be returned to the aircraft, in order to offload the unruly passenger," FlySafair said.
The aircraft departed at 09:10.
Chief marketing officer Kirby Gordon said working under Covid-19 restrictions was hard for the cabin crew.
It is not the first time the airline has had to offload a passenger for refusing to wear a mask, which is a legal requirement to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
In October last year, a flight that was taxing on the runway, about to take off from OR Tambo International Airport for King Shaka International Airport, was forced to head back to the terminal after a passenger refused to wear a mask.
Gordon said the cabin crew spends time asking passengers to wear their masks.
"Instead of offering beverages, they now spend time asking customers to keep their masks on. We have to commend our team [for] managing this and other situations with the calmness, professionalism, and dignity that they [do]," Gordon told News24.
The airline said nothing was more important than passenger safety.