South African Airways (SAA) has with immediate effect suspended all regional and international operations until the end of May in response to a government travel ban aimed at stopping the transmission of the Coronavirus (Covid-19)
The decision means SAA will only render services domestically between Johannesburg and Cape Town said a statement released today by SAA.
“The suspension of flights follows the gazetting of Regulations and the issuing of a Notice to Air Men (NOTAM), an official government notice prohibiting the embarkation and disembarkation of crew and passengers from SAA’s three international destinations. The regulation is effective from Friday, March 21,” the SAA statement read.
South Africa is following other countries which have virtually placed travel restrictions to and from their countries in a move to help contain the spread of Covid-19.
On Thursday, March 19, 2020, the South African government issued a directive that stated: “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 a returning South African citizens and permanent residents; embarkation of departing foreign nationals, disembarkation of a declared medical emergency foreign nationals must be approved by port health services; upon landing, crew from high-risk countries shall be subject to medical screening and quarantined for 21 days”.
“In support of efforts by the government to in dealing with this pandemic, and in the best interests of our crew, passengers and the public, we have decided to suspend all international and regional flights until 31 May 2020. It is a responsibility of all of us and not just government to curb further transmission of the virus. Especially because we operate in the high-risk regions” said SAA Acting CEO, Zuks Ramasia.
The directives against travels across Africa and globally is set to hit global tourism trade significantly, Whatsup New gathered. Already in Ghana, travel and tour companies are collapsing amidst a virtual cessation of travel to Ghana.