Saturday, 21 March 2020

South African Airways (SAA) suspends flights until 31st May..................

South African Airways (SAA) has confirmed it will immediately suspend all international operations until 31 May 2020. It will also suspend all regional and domestic routes except Cape Town - Johannesburg for the same period.

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting drop in demand and travel restrictions and attendant travel restrictions have made flying almost impossible for most airlines, with most carriers grounding aircraft and laying off staff. 

Following the declaration of the State of Disaster, the South African government announced a travel ban and issued regulations, which introduced certain measures aimed at combatting the spread or transmission of the virus. Amongst other things, the regulations, issued on Thursday state that: “Disembarkation of foreign nationals from the high-risk countries is suspended on airports upon arrival. Embarkation and disembarkation is permissible under the following circumstances: Disembarkation of returning South African citizens and permanent residents; embarkation of departing foreign nationals, the disembarkation of a declared medical emergency; foreign nationals must be approved by port health services; upon landing, the crew from high-risk countries shall be subject to medical screening and quarantined for 21 days”.

“In support of efforts by the government to deal with this pandemic, and in the best interests of our crew, passengers and the public, we have decided to suspend all international flights until 31 May 2020. It is all our responsibility, not just the government, to curb further transmission of the virus. In addition, the increasing risks to our crew of contracting the virus including the possibility of being trapped in foreign destinations as a consequence of increasing travel bans cannot be ignored,” said SAA Acting CEO, Zuks Ramasia.

“We also recognise the fluidity in the conditions we operate in and the need to respond to these changes with speed, to this end we commit to keep all our stakeholders abreast of any changes on an ongoing basis,” said Ramasia.

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