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Times Live: Travel agents lash out over stranded passengers, while SA man in Malaysia hopes for flight

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A South African, who found himself in no man’s land at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia last week because of a Covid-19 lockdown, has cautiously welcomed SA’s plans to repatriate South Africans stranded overseas.

This comes as the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata) has hit back at  government assertions that travel agents are allegedly forcing travellers to “buy another ticket when they are already a holder of a ticket to travel”.

“There is absolutely no question that South African travel agents have been exemplary in these unprecedented times, which have left them with no income for the foreseeable future and very little support from the airline community which is holding the monies that have been paid over for tickets not flown,” said Otto de Vries, Asata CEO.

On Tuesday, international relations and co-operation minister Naledi Pandor announced that the government was moving to help with the repatriation of hundreds of citizens who have been stranded across the globe as a result of coronavirus travel restrictions.

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