More than 180 passengers aboard a South African Airways flight were stranded in Dakar, Senegal, after the aircraft bound for New York was involved in an accident in the early hours yesterday.
SAA confirmed that Flight 203 flying to New York from Johannesburg via Dakar was damaged by an Alitalia aircraft while parked in a bay at the airport where it had been refuelling.
SAA spokesman Rich Mkhondo said: "The Alitalia flight clipped our aircraft and damage was done to the rudder and fuselage, but no passengers were hurt."
The passengers had been accommodated in a local hotel before some flew to New York late last night and others flew to Atlanta, via Cape Town. From Atlanta they will get a connecting flight to New York.
One of the passengers on the flight was Shoprite/Checkers boss Whitey Basson, who was on his way to New York on holiday with his family.
A company spokesman said according to Basson the accident was not too serious and passengers had been treated well during the delay.
Mkhondo said the return flight from New York to Johannesburg last night had to be cancelled and technicians were dispatched yesterday to inspect the damaged plane in Senegal.
There will be a flight today (Monday) and passengers who were due to fly from New York yesterday would be split between Monday's flight to Johannesburg via Dakar and the flight via Atlanta, then Cape Town.
"We hope the situation will become normal on Wednesday. We do not know the extent of the damage to the plane yet.
"We will only know this after our technicians have assessed the damage," said Mkhondo.