Comair has made the tough decision to extend the suspension of both Kulula and British Airways flights until 31 August 2021. This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to keep South Africa on adjusted Level 4 lockdown for a further two weeks in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Gauteng remains locked down due to the high number of infections in the province.
Comair said the prohibition of all non-essential travel in and out of Gauteng, very little to no demand for business travel and international travel bans resulted in them temporarily suspending all scheduled flights from Monday, 5 July 2021.
In a statement, Comair said: “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 31August 2021.”
The company placed the well-being of their customers and employees as a priority. The aviation sector has suffered immensely without government support. Taking the potential variables into consideration, Comair said they plan to only resume scheduled operations on Wednesday 1 September 2021.
Comair CEO, Glenn Orsmond, apologised to customers affected by the suspension.
“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.
“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.”