South African Airways will suspend all its domestic flights with effect from Friday, 27 March. The suspension of all domestic flights follows on the earlier announcement by the airline to suspend both international and regional flights.
“The decision came after government announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days aimed at combating the spread of the coronavirus,” it said in a statement.
The decision follows President Cyril Rampahosa’s announcement on Monday, of a nationwide lockdown that will come into effect from midnight on Thursday.
In the period leading up to the lockdown (24-26 March), the airline will provide support to passengers who intend to change their travel plans and commence their journeys before the implementation of the national lockdown.
“SAA is committed to looking after the interests of its customers and will assist customers whose itinerary must change as a result of the lockdown. There will be one free travel change for travel between Tuesday, 24 March and Thursday, 26 March 2020,” it said, adding that re-accommodation of the customers for this purpose will happen on a first-come-first-served basis.
The airline’s call centres will not be in operation for the duration of the lockdown, which is scheduled to come to end at midnight on Thursday,16 April.
Meanwhile, SAA has put in place measures to assist customers in the days after the lockdown. “SAA will resume its domestic flights on 17 April,” it said.
It further added that all passengers who are willing to defer their travel will be expected to comply with conditions set out in the updated customer reservation policy.
“Customers are advised that the updated policy applies across SAA’s route network, including domestic, regional and international flights.”
The policy provides for changes for a period that extends beyond the industry norm (where ordinarily tickets are valid for six months only for domestic travel and 12 months for international travel) which is up until 2022. — SANews