Low-cost airline FlySafair will temporarily suspend operations during the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this week announced the lockdown in an effort to slowdown the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa. The number of infections have now hit 709, News24 reported.
Citizens and residents have been ordered to stay at home, and non-essential businesses will have to close down during the period. FlySafair has now joined a list of airlines including Comair's British Airways and Kulula.com, as well as national carrier SAA, in suspending operations till the end of the lockdown.
"In accordance with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on 23 March 2020, FlySafair has made the decision to temporarily close all business operations in order to fully support the government’s mandate to curb the spread of Covid-19," FlySafair said in its statement.
"The airline will operate its final flights before the shutdown comes into effect on Wednesday 25 March 2020 and aims to resume operations on the morning of 20 April 2020 following a lifting of the lock-down by government," the airline said.
The airline will also temporarily close its ticket sales desks, call center, WhatsApp channel and social media accounts during the lockdown period.
"We started FlySafair on 16 October 2014 and have flown every day since, we never envisaged a circumstance that would have to halt operations.
"Globally, we are in unprecedented times and we believe that the decision taken by our President is the correct one, and we are fully supportive of all efforts undertaken to curb the spread of this virus in our country," said Kirby Gordon, FlySafair's chief marketing officer.
FlySafair has allowed its customers to make penalty-free changes to their flights, either before or after the lockdown. Customers can also exchange their existing reservations for a flight voucher. "All eligible bookings will then later be assessed to and converted to cash if requested," FlySafair said.
In its statement on the lockdown SAA said it would allow one free travel change for travel between Tuesday and Thursday. Re-accommodation of customers, would happen on a first-come-first-served basis, Fin24 previously reported. SAA intends to resume flights on 17 April, 2020.
The statement said during the national lockdown SAA's call centres will not be in operation and customers must direct their questions through customer solutions via its various email service accounts.
Comair has also allowed customers to change their reservations, no booking fee will be charged but a fare difference may apply.