BA crew assaulted in Brazil after arguing over taxi fare ‘scam’ and getting out of their taxi in the middle of a tough neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro
- Crew members abandoned in the Penha neighborhood, in Rio, were found in the North Zone of the city
- They were robbed within minutes while waiting for another taxi, reports say.
A British Airways flight bound for London was delayed for a day after its crew was assaulted in Rio de Janeiro, according to local reports.
The incident occurred minutes after crew members got out of a taxi early after arguing with the driver over the fare.
Getting out of the taxi early, they were dropped off on the side of a road in Rio’s Penha neighborhood, which is in the northern part of the sprawling city, known for turf wars.
The terrified crew had spent the night in the city and were heading back to their accommodation in Copacabana before operating a flight back to Britain the following day, according to local media.
Police said the off-duty group had abandoned the taxi after rowing over the fare in the early morning hours of September 5.
A British Airways flight (file photo) bound for London was delayed for a day after its crew was assaulted in Rio de Janeiro, according to local reports
The North Zone of Rio is the scene of frequent and violent clashes between the police and drug trafficking gangs fighting for territorial control. In the photo: Rio de Janeiro Military Police in Penha, 2023
But within minutes of getting out of the taxi to take a carpool, they were allegedly robbed.
The team had been waiting for another taxi on Penha Street, a tough neighborhood miles from their hotel in Copacabana.
Penha is the location of a sprawling favela,
The North Zone of Rio is the scene of frequent and violent clashes between the police and drug trafficking gangs fighting for territorial control.
Historically, drug gangs have controlled the territory, but clashes with police have led to civilian deaths.
The theft reportedly caused the 9.50pm BA-248 flight to Heathrow Airport to be postponed the following day (September 6). The flight was to depart from the Tom Jobim International Airport, in Galeão, in the North Zone.
The case was reported at the 27th Police Station (Vicente de Carvalho) and sent to the Special Tourism Support Police Station (Deat).
Police said the victims had already given statements.
The postponed flight was rescheduled for September 7 at 10:15 p.m.
The investigation is ongoing and staff have returned to the UK.
Getting out of the taxi early, they were left on the side of a road in the Penha neighborhood of Rio (pictured), which is located in the northern part of the sprawling city, known for turf wars.
The terrified crew had spent the night in the city and were heading back to their accommodation in Copacabana (pictured, file photo) before operating a flight back to Britain the next day, according to local media.
British Airways told MailOnline: “This is a police matter and we are providing support to our colleagues.”
This is not the first time a British Airways crew has been assaulted in Rio.
In 2016, it was reported that an airline crew member was robbed at gunpoint in the city when his group was also returning to their hotel.
In response to the incident, BA said it would start advising its staff to use taxis when traveling in the Brazilian capital and said they should remain “vigilant”.