A BRITISH Airways captain was stabbed after going for a run between flights in Johannesburg.
The pilot was held at gunpoint amid terrifying scenes before a hoodlum plunged a knife into his thigh.
The airline veteran was rushed to hospital for immediate treatment.
He went jogging with a crew member during downtime while on a stopover in South Africa.
They broke strict BA rules by leaving the security approved compound which houses their luxury crew hotel.
Areas of Johannesburg are widely considered “lawless” and off limits to crew members during airline downtime.
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But the BA hotel is located within the Melrose Arch neighbourhood – branded a “city within a city” and the safest place in Johannesburg.
The location – featuring more than 100 shops and restaurants, including leisure facilities such as bowling alleys – is patrolled by security guards 24/7.
A BA source said: “The rules are there for a reason.
"Crew are ordered not to leave the hotel compound. But the captain and crew member decided to risk it and go for a jog.
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“Soon afterwards they were followed and held-up at gunpoint. During a melee the captain was stabbed in the leg.
“It was a harrowing ordeal. The pilot was taken to hospital. Everyone is just so thankful he’s okay. It could have been so much worse.
“The incident has really shaken the BA community. Polite reminders have been made about sticking to the rules.”
The stabbed captain was allowed to leave hospital after treatment and jetted home as a passenger earlier this week.
Separate crews were found to bring home from South Africa the plane he had been due to pilot.
Passengers were oblivious to the death-defying drama.
Both crew members were offered time off work and counselling to deal with the trauma of their terrifying hold-up.
Latest official advice is that Johannesburg is a lawless city, with theft very common and criminals targeting tourists for carjacking attempts, kidnap and sexual assault.
The crime rating for visitors is “severe”.
The government’s own advice to Brits travelling to South Africa states: “There is a high crime rate, including carjacking, house robbery, rape, sexual assault and murder.
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Violent crime can take place anywhere, including in tourist destinations and transport hubs.”
British Airways told The Sun: "We provided support to our colleagues who have since returned to the UK."
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