SAA cancels flights amid coronavirus pandemic

File: SAA Business Rescue Practitioners have been trying to finalise a rescue plan for months now.

File: SAA Business Rescue Practitioners have been trying to finalise a rescue plan for months now.

AFP/Michele Spatari

JOHANNESBURG - South African Airways is scaling down its capacity due to a decline in demand as a result of COVID-19, the airline said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The national carrier said it is cancelling 162 flights between 17 March and 31 March 2020.

"Notwithstanding the decline in demand, SAA continues to aggressively review its schedule to match capacity with demand to the extent possible. Where feasible, we will consider options that include cancelling and merging flights.

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For the period 17 until 31 March 2020, SAA has cancelled a total of 162 flights. Of these, 38 are international and 124 are regional (destinations on the African continent) flights", read the statement.

The airline said it would continue to operate flights for passengers who's travel was essential and "cannot be avoided."

SAA is also giving one free ticket change to customers who will have to change their travel plans due to the travel ban announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa has soared to 116.

Source
eNCA