SAA Clarifies Perceived Runway Incursion at OR Tambo International Airport

SAA clarifies the sequence of events.


South African Airways (SA) released a statement on February 26, 2024, clarifying details surrounding a perceived runway incursion involving an SAA aircraft, flight SA422 and Lufthansa (LH) flight LH573 at OR Tambo International Airport on Friday, February 23, 2024:

The Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 was scheduled to depart from runway 03L at 20h16. However, due to an impending storm, the departure was delayed, and the aircraft was permitted to vacate the runway. The SAA Airbus A320 which had arrived earlier, was then permitted to cross runway 03L and taxi to its intended terminal.

A preliminary assessment by SAA had established that NO Runway Incursion occurred, as alluded to, by some media reports. The Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) has confirmed that the video was a ruse, and the footage had a time lapse of approximately five minutes having passed in just 38 seconds of the recording.


SAA’s Flight Operations and Safety Department together with key stakeholders’ safety departments have done both the internal and collaborative safety assessments and investigations and confirm there was no aircraft taking off at the time as claimed in the video caption.

SAA and its aviation stakeholders employ robust safety measures and implement strategies to mitigate against any potential risk that may arise to passengers and aircraft.

SAA Interim CEO, Prof. John Lamola says, “SAA’s flight deck crew are trained routinely to handle all situations that may occur in the air or on the ground, which include runway incursions. SAA confirms that there was no runway incursion or risk of any occurring as shown by the video on social media.”

Statement Ends