Local airlines struggle with restrictions

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Local airlines say the current lockdown restricts air travel. Although restrictions were eased last month, fewer people are flying. Picture: Alon Skuy / Gallo Images
Local airlines say the current lockdown restricts air travel. Although restrictions were eased last month, fewer people are flying. Picture: Alon Skuy / Gallo Images

No airline can provide a service and stay in business with the current travel restrictions applicable in South Africa, says transport economist Joachim Vermooten.

Elmar Conradie, chief executive of FlySafair, agrees. This airline’s operations are currently only around 20% of what they were before the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak in March. Flights between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban resumed last month, but with strict restrictions.

Under the new rules, people may only travel for business purposes and must have supporting documents. These rules are scaring passengers off, said Vermooten.

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