Embattled state-owned airline South African Airways will suspend all international and regional flights, retaining only the Johannesburg-Cape Town route, as it battles the devastating effects of coronavirus lockdowns.
The decision will cast further doubt over the ability of SAA, which is already in business rescue (a form of bankruptcy protection), to continue flying in the medium term.
The suspensions are effective from Friday and will run until the end of May, the carrier said in a statement.
“The suspension of flights follows the gazetting of regulations and the issuing of a ‘Notice to Air Men’, an official government notice prohibiting the embarkation and disembarkation of crew and passengers from SAA’s three international destinations,” it said.
The regulations, gazetted by transport minister Fikile Mbalula, mean no flights from high-risk countries including US, Germany and the UK will be allowed into South Africa. SAA’s high-risk destinations are New York, Washington, Frankfurt and London.
SAA will also suspend flights to Accra, Lusaka, Harare, Victoria Falls, Mauritius, Windhoek, Lagos, Entebbe and other countries which have not been declared high-risk such as Perth and São Paulo.
“This is as a result of the significant reduction in demand for air travel as a result of various travel bans instituted worldwide,” it said. — © 2020 NewsCentral Media