South Africa Domestic Airlines Return to the Sky

With the current regulations under lockdown Level 3, airlines in South Africa have been given the green light for a phased return to the skies.

Free-Photos via
SA domestic airlines returning to the skies
SA domestic airlines returning to the skies

Free-Photos via Pixabay
On 30 May, Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, outlined the Covid-19 level 3 lockdown transport measures which will include that limited domestic air travel for business purposes will be allowed, subject to restrictions on the number of flights per day and authorisation based on the reason for travel. The availability of port health services will also guide the scheduling of flights.

The resumption of domestic flights will be rolled out in three phases.

Since outlining the updated regulations, several domestic airlines have announced their return during June.


South African Airways (SAA) is currently retaining its domestic schedule, as published between Johannesburg and Cape Town, with effect from mid-June 2020. Accordingly, SAA is focusing on ensuring operational readiness to resume flights once permissible.

This position will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

At the same time, SAA is cancelling all planned scheduled flights on regional and international services until the end of June 2020 with immediate effect. This decision has been taken as a result of the continuing global impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Many restrictive rules and regulations still apply to civil aviation across the world. On this basis, it is not yet possible to resume operations beyond South Africa’s borders in a sustainable manner.

Repatriation flights

The airline has also secured approvals during the South African national lockdown, which saw the closure of borders, to operate repatriation flights to and from several international destinations. The airline further encourages the use of its portal for those interested in the repatriation flights. This is after SAA approached government to grant a special dispensation to continue to operate international repatriation flights due to continued demand.

To view the full list of upcoming repatriation flights, please click here.


Airlink will launch a limited scheduled domestic air service from Monday 8th June, with flights on the Johannesburg-Cape Town and Johannesburg-Durban trunk routes, using 98-seat Embraer E190 regional jets.

This follows the implementation of South Africa’s Covid-19 “Level 3” restrictions, which permits a three-phase resumption of domestic flights, based on the following:

Phase 1, which came into effect this morning and permits flights between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
Phase 2 will see some of the inland airports brought on-stream once the system has been stress-tested and proven.
Phase 3 will enable services to the other coastal and inland cities.

Click here to view the airline’s planned schedule.


FlySafair plans to resume limited business services from 15 June. The call centre will reopen on 8 June.

FlySafair will operate twice-daily flights between Johannesburg (ORTIA) and Durban from Mondays to Fridays, while on Saturday and Sunday, the airline will operate one flight daily on this route. The Johannesburg (ORTIA) -Cape Town route will see four flights per day from Monday to Friday, and two flights daily on Saturdays and Sundays.

FlySafair will operate twice-daily flights from Lanseria to Cape Town and Durban from Monday to Friday, and once-daily flights on these routes during the weekend.

Passengers wanting to travel will need to produce a document illustrating that they are travelling for business

Travel is initially only permitted between Johannesburg (OR Tambo and Lanseria Airport), Cape Town and Durban.


Mango advised that the airline is still in the process of making final deliberations and will advise the travelling public on the way forward in due course.


Comair which operates BA Comair and kulula has issued a notice on its website that it will resume scheduled services in November 2020.

At the airport:

Expect maximum safety protocols to be applied throughout your journey.

Only travellers who have airline tickets/boarding passes, who have permits illustrating that they are travelling for business purposes and who pass the temperature and other screening measures at the airport entrance, will be allowed into the terminal and to fly.

Required documents:

All passengers will need a valid form of identification to travel – as has always been the case. Please review the airline’s Ts and Cs for details.
In addition, passengers will need to have a signed document or permit that states that they are travelling to perform a permitted service.

Source: SATSA

Published by TMT Global

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