A British Airways pilot experienced a harrowing ordeal during a stopover in South Africa, according to reports. The First Officer, while shopping in Johannesburg, was kidnapped in a supermarket car park, north of the Melrose Arch complex.
The incident began when a woman requested his assistance with her bags. Upon reaching her vehicle, a group of men forcefully pushed him inside and took him to a remote location in the city.
The Sun newspaper cites a source stating that the pilot was subjected to hours of torture and physical assault, culminating in his release after being left without any money. “It’s staggering what happened to the pilot. It was like something out of the movies,” the source described the incident.
Further details revealed that the pilot, deceived by a scam, was “badly roughed up”. As a result of this traumatic experience, he was unable to perform his duties, necessitating a replacement pilot for the return flight to London.
“He fell for the scam of agreeing to help a woman in need, and before he knew it, was bundled in a vehicle and driven away,” the source added. “He then endured hours of torture and physical assaults. It only ended when he was left penniless. He is just happy to be alive.”
British Airways has responded to the incident, stating to Sky News: “We are supporting our colleague and the local authorities with their investigation.” The airline confirmed its support for the affected crew member and cooperation with the ongoing investigation, but did not provide additional information.