SA’s domestic flights are operational – here are the mandatory rules for travel

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As of this past Friday ( 5 June), domestic passenger flights are operational in the country again, but only for certain travel.

CemAir – a small, independent airline- took to the skies on Friday resuming the first domestic flights between OR Thambo and Cape Town since the start of lockdown in late March.

The first CemAir flight from OR Thambo to Cape Town was reportedly around three-quarters full and also operated a second flight later that day, returning to Johannesburg.

According to Bongiwe Pityi-Vokwana – Airports Company of South Africa’s general manager at OR Tambo – the airport is ready for the return of flights, and have implemented strict protocols to ensure the safety of travellers and staff.

Today, (Monday, 8 June) privately-run regional airline Airlink will take off with their first domestic passenger flight, while Mango and FlySafAir will start flying on Monday, June 15th. Tickets are currently on sales for CT/JHB as well as JHB/DNB flights with the average cost per trip going for R1800, one way.

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However, not everyone can book a flight – air travel for business, emergency and relocation purposes only is permitted under Alert Level 3, while travel for leisure is still strictly prohibited.

Should you consider travelling soon, here are the mandatory regulations in place while under level 3 lockdown:

  • You must present an official travel permit and letter from your employer authorising travel. This will be checked at the entrance of airports and again at check-in and boarding
  • Only travellers will be allowed to enter terminal airport buildings under rules for Alert Level 3; anyone picking up or dropping off a passenger must remain outside
  • You must arrive at least two-and-half hours prior to your flight as a contingency for any unforeseen delays
  • You have to arrive at the airport with a mask on, or you won’t be allowed in
  • Your temperature will be checked before the flight
  • Boarding will be by section to stop crowding
  • Airport buses will be limited to loading 70% of their maximum capacity
  • However, planes are allowed to fly at full capacity. If you are flying with FlySafair, you can “block” the seat next to you for R750. Mango will reportedly “strategically” seat passengers on its planes (at no extra cost) – except for from families, who will sit together
  • The last row of every flight must be reserved for “suspected cases” of Covid-19, in case a passenger with symptoms of the disease somehow gets through pre-boarding temperature checks
  • No food or drink will be provided on the plane – you may bring your own
  • In-flight magazines will also no longer be available

Read more on the latest Covid-19 related news right here. Video by Chanté Schatz, News24

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