Airline group Comair confirmed that it will be extending the suspension of scheduled kulula.com and British Airways flights until 31 August 2021. This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that South Africa would remain on adjusted level 4 lockdown for the next two weeks.
According to BusinessTech, the prohibition of all non-essential travel in and out of Gauteng, coupled with little to no demand for business travel has resulted in Comair temporarily suspending all scheduled flights from 5 July. International travel bans have added to this decision.
“The intention was to recommence operations from 30 July 2021. Given the uncertainty of the expected length of the recently adjusted level 4 lockdown, restriction of travel in and out of Gauteng coupled with the rampant transmissibility of the Covid-19 “Delta” variant, Comair had to make a difficult but responsible decision to further suspend flight operations until 31 August 2021,” Comair chief executive, Glenn Orsmond said.
“This decision was not made lightly, as it has a significant impact on both our customers and our employees.
“However, under the circumstances we believe it is the correct course of action to ensure the health and wellbeing of our customers and employees.
“We empathize with government’s unenviable position with regards to balancing the health of the nation and the suffering economy,” Orsmond added.
“We also welcome the announcement opening vaccine registration for the 35–49-year-old group from 15 July 2021.
“This is a crucial step towards ensuring the safety of our customers and our employees, as well as stimulating demand and the recovery of our economy and tourism industry.
“We anticipate the vaccine roll-out picking up pace in earnest and hope to see it reaching critical mass in the next month or two and look forward to welcoming our customers back on board on 1 September,” Orsmond concluded.