By Friday (31 October) the exodus of people by air from Angola had slowed down to a trickle.
By Friday (31 October) the exodus of people by air from Angola had slowed down to a trickle. Airlines flying on charter to the Portuguese Government or those supplied by foreign governments to assist the Portuguese evacuate those wishing to leave, ceased operation on Friday night (31 October).
However scheduled airlines such as UTA AND TAP will continue to fly routes previously agreed with the Portuguese administration.
The refugees are all fleeing from war torn Angola where three liberation movement, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) and the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) are struggling for control of the country and so become the body to which Portugal will hand over Angola's independence on 11 November.
The present Portuguese leadership is committed to handing over to a coalition government - but with time fast running out, there is no sign of such a government emerging and there are grave fears that when 11 November dawns the situation in Angola will explode into a full scale civil war.
So far, more than two hundred thousand people have been airlifted back to Portugal and another twenty thousand have fled across the border into South West Africa. Most of them have lost heir homes, their savings and their jobs.
When one of the last groups to arrive in Portugal reached Liaison on Friday (31 October), their only possessions were what they stood up in and what they could carry. Whole families rested in the airport terminal after their long journey.
But when they awoke, a bleak future confronted them, for, with Portugal's ten per cent unemployment rate and critical housing shortage, they can only expect to be put on the end of the long list for jobs housing.