Mbabane: South Africa is set to resume Air travel, mainly for domestic travel
The Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced during a virtual press briefing on Monday that seven airports will resume operations from July 1, 2020.
According to information sourced from Business Tech the airports that are to resume operation includes Bram Fischer International Airport, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, Pietermaritzburg Airport, Port Elizabeth International Airport, Richardsbay Airport, Skukuza Airport and Upington International Airport.
These airports will join the original four airports that commenced flight operations in phase 1, including OR Tambo, Cape Town, King Shaka and Lanseria International Airport. Mbalula said all international passenger flights were prohibited except those flights authorized by his ministry. Notably it has been three weeks since the OR Tambo, King Shaka, Cape Town and Lanseria International airports have been opened for domestic passenger travel.
Airlines have been gradually flying through phase 1 approved airports. Following the announcement of phase 1 domestic operations, the airports and airlines submitted their Standard Operating Procedures to the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) for approval, and this was followed by compliance inspections conducted by the Regulator to all four airports.
Mbalula noted that airlines opened for flight bookings immediately thereafter and it took them almost two weeks to build passenger numbers to at least 50 percent capacity.
Mbalula said the department made “continuous improvement” in areas it observed challenges following consultation with the Department of Health representatives, specifically Port Health. He said that measures were in place to ensure that passengers were adequately prepared for their experience at the airports and to avoid congestion, mainly at security checkpoints when the number of passengers increases and other airports resumes operations.