FlySafair gets ready to start operating from mid-June

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Low-cost airline FlySafair plans to take to the skies again from mid-June, offering between 20 to 26 flights per day.

This comes after Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Saturday announced that air travel, for business purposes, will be allowed during level three of lockdown, which kicks in from Monday.

Mbalula said the number of flights allowed each day will be restricted and based on the reason for travel, as well as the availability of port health services, Fin24 previously reported.

In a statement following the briefing, FlySafair said it would resume services from 15 June and open ticket sales the following week.

"After a long couple of months in hibernation, I'm glad to report that we will be able to recommence operations in the coming weeks," said FlySafair Chief Marketing Officer Kirby Gordon.

Government is following a three-phased approach in opening airports. In Phase 1, only business travel will be allowed. OR Tambo International Airport and Lanseria Airport will be open in Gauteng, King Shaka International Airport will reopen in KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town international Airport will reopen in the Western Cape.

In Phase 2, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, Polokwane International Airport, and Bram Fischer International Airport will open; while Phase 3 will see Kimberly, Upington, Umtata, East London and Port Elizabeth's airports opening, Fin24 reported.

During Phase 1, FlySafair said it would operate the following routes:

• Johannesburg (OR Tambo International Airport) – Cape Town International Airport

• Johannesburg (OR Tambo International Airport) – Durban King Shaka International Airport

• Cape Town International Airport – Durban King Shaka International Airport

• Lanseria International Airpor – Cape Town International Airport

• Lanseria International Airport – Durban King Shaka International Airport

FlySafair said routes to and from Lanseria International Airport depend on the airport being granted certification from the Transport Department. 

The airline said it will release its new schedules after receiving approval from Airports Company South Africa and Air Traffic Navigation Services. It plans to operate between 20 and 26 flights per day, possibly with exception of Saturdays.

FlySafair said it has also taken measures to meet health and safety requirements such as the deep cleaning of aircraft daily, temperature checks of crew and customers, making it compulsory to wear masks, and even implementing a "no touch" policy, among other things. 

Customers also have the option to block the middle seat in a row, but this feature is available only on the airline's website. 

"We remain concerned about the feasibility of operating under the prescribed restrictions, but we cannot leave our staff unpaid any longer, and we feel obligated to do our part in reopening the South African economy," Gordon said.

Compiled by Lameez Omarjee

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