A Delta Airlines flight from Johannesburg, South Africa, touched down in Boston briefly to refuel and change crews on Sunday morning, one day before a ban on travelers from that country takes effect.
Delta flight 201 landed at Logan International Airport just before 9:30 a.m. then took off again for Atlanta at 10:37 a.m., a Delta spokesperson said in a statement.
The flight crew departed from the plane and was placed off duty because it had maxed out its hours on duty, according to the spokesperson. All customers remained aboard during the stop.
“The redirection of the flight had to do with the technical specifications of the A350 aircraft and the payload of this particular flight,” the spokesperson said, adding that it was “nothing COVID-related.”
The spokesperson said these types of stops can happen “on ultra-long-haul flights when optimal operating conditions can’t be met.”
The landing came less than 24 hours before most travelers from South Africa and seven other southern African nations will be banned from entering the United States.
President Biden announced that the US would indefinitely restrict travel beginning 12:01 a.m. Monday to prevent the spread of the new, possibly highly transmissible omicron variant discovered by scientists in South Africa last week.
Colleen Cronin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.