Coronavirus Grounds SAA Flights




The state-owned airline, South African Airways (SAA), announced today the suspension of operations, regionally and internationally, in a continued effort to slow the spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus in the country.

SAA said in a statement, " SAA will immediately suspend 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 regulations, gazetted by Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, means no flights from high-risk countries including United States, Germany, United Kingdom, will be allowed into South Africa.

However, there are exceptions -

  • Disembarkation of 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, the crew from high-risk countries shall be subject to medical screening and quarantined for 21 days.

Additionally, the airline will also suspend flights to its regional destinations:

  • Accra (Ghana)
  • Lusaka (Zambia)
  • Harare (Zimbabwe),
  • Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)
  • Mauritius, Windhoek (Namibia)
  • Lagos (Nigeria),
  • Entebbe (Uganda) 

SAA’s high-risk international destinations include New York, Washington DC, Frankfurt and London.

The suspension also includes other countries that have not (yet) been declared high-risk, these include Perth (Australia) and Sao Paolo (Brazil).

This comes after a significant reduction in demand for air travel as a result of various travel bans instituted across the globe.