Goods strewn on the floor of the plane after it hit turbulence.

Johannesburg - Nineteen of 20 people injured when an SA Airways flight from Johannesburg to Hong Kong hit severe turbulence have been discharged from hospital, the airline said on Thursday.

“SAA advises that of the two passengers admitted with serious injuries sustained on flight SA286 following severe turbulence, only one remains in hospital,” spokesman Tlali Tlali said in a statement.

“We welcome this development and will continue to keep the remaining patient in our prayers for him to recover and be discharged from hospital.”

On Wednesday, the plane hit turbulence in Kuala Lumpur's airspace. It landed safely in Hong Kong around 6.30am South African time and 12.30pm Hong Kong time.

The interior panels of the aircraft were damaged in the incident.

“The airline would like to express its gratitude to everyone who showed sympathy and wished those injured speedy recovery,” Tlali said.

“In addition, SAA wishes to thank the crew of the flight for the professional way the incident was handled, a factor which was appreciated and expressed by the passengers on board the aircraft.”