The Government of South Africa has allowed limited domestic air travel during alert level three of the country’s risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of COVID-19. As of 01 June 2020, domestic air travel for business purposes is allowed, subject to restrictions on the number of flights per day and authorisation based on the reason for travel. No catering are allowed during flights and no onboard magazines are provided. The last row of the aircraft is reserved for isolation of suspected cases.
According to the country’s Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, the resumption of domestic flights in South Africa will be rolled out in three phases. During phase one, only OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban, Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and Lanseria International Airport (HLA) in Johannesburg have the permission to operate. In phase two they will be joined by Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP) in Nelspruit, Polokwane International Airport (PTG) in Polokwane and Bram Fischer International Airport (BFN) in Bloemfontein. Phase three will see the re-opening of Kimberley Airport (KIM) in Kimberley, East London Airport (ELS) in East London, Upington Airport (UTN) in Upington, Mthatha Airport (UTT) in Mthatha and Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ) in Port Elizabeth.
South Africa’s flag carrier, South African Airways, announced at the end of May 2020 that it will resume domestic services in mid-June 2020, but the airline’s business rescue practitioners (BRP) disagreed with the deciscion and announced that the airline is not preparing to resume flights.
Mango, subsidiary of South African Airways, is “still in the process of making final deliberations and will advise you on a way forward in due course” (Facebook).
Flysafair will resume operations on 15 June 2020 and offers return flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, Cape Town and Durban, as well as flights between Lanseria International Airport (HLA) in Johannesburg and Cape Town and Lanseria and Durban.
Airlink will launch a limited scheduled domestic air service from 08 June 2020, with flights on the Johannesburg <> Cape Town and Johannesburg <> Durban trunk routes.
CemAir is set to resume flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town on 05 June 2020 and between Johannesburg and Durban on 08 June 2020.
Comair, which operates scheduled services on domestic routes in South Africa as a British Airways franchisee and also operates as a low-cost carrier under its own kulula.com brand, has entered into voluntary business rescue proceedings and will not resume operations before November 2020.