Despite the lockdown, a German aircraft may land in Johannesburg with a special permit. On board are experts who will do urgent work in the factories of German companies. Among other things, they should ensure the production of the new C-Class from Mercedes.
A special flight from Germany with dozens of specialists, engineers and technicians has arrived in South Africa. The experts should help to secure investments by German companies such as Siemens, Voith or Mercedes through urgently required maintenance or assembly work. "For the first time since March, international passengers are allowed to enter the country without the state-mandated quarantine," reports Lufthansa Regional Manager André Schulz in Johannesburg.
The German embassy, together with the Chamber of Commerce Abroad, had obtained a special permit for the flight in difficult negotiations. "The experts from German companies operating in South Africa should make a valuable contribution to boosting the South African economy again," said Ambassador Martin Schäfer, who was also on board.
Among other things, experts have arrived to help the Mercedes plant in East London build an important assembly line for the construction of the new C-Class. C-Class sedans for right and left-hand drive markets for export and the local market are produced in the Eastern Cape of South Africa – in the previous year over 80,000 vehicles rolled off the assembly line there.
At the end of March, South Africa closed all land borders with the implementation of strict restrictions in the fight against the corona virus and also ceased commercial flight operations. A cautious easing was reversed last Sunday, as the number of infections around the business location of Johannesburg rose dramatically. Since then there has been a ban on alcohol in addition to a curfew at night. International air traffic remains blocked until further notice.