Cape Town – South African Airways (SAA) has apologised to its passengers after one of its pilots caused drama at the Harare International airport when he stripped to his underpants in protest against security procedures, according to a report.
Zimbabwean media reported on Wednesday that at least 90 passengers aboard South African flight 025 who were due to travel to Johannesburg on Tuesday morning were left stranded following the bizarre incident.
The flight was delayed by more than five hours to allow another crew from Johannesburg to take over after Captain Wouter van Ginkel was barred from flying, with aviation authorities raising concern over his state of mind following the incident.
SAA however, apologised and said it intended to investigate circumstances that led to Van Ginkel's actions, according to an iol news report.
Van Ginkel, who has been with SAA for 19 years, was going though the screening routine with cabin crew when the detectors beeped as he passed the X-ray screening gates.
Detectors at the screening gates beeped as the Van Ginkel went through, prompting the authorities to ask him to remove his shoes.
But again the detectors beeped, resulting in him being asked to remove his belt, a directive that triggered a furious protest that saw him undressing to his undergarment.
Security officials subsequently moved in and arrested him.
SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said Van Ginkel was fined $20 (R215) before being released.