Workers wearing protective suit approach a South African Airways Airbus A340-600 plane on March 14, 2020 as it arrives in Polokwane, in Limpopo province, carrying South African citizens who have been repatriated from Wuhan, China, where they were working when the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) erupted. (AFP/Guillem Sartorio)
South African Airways (SAA) aims to resume domestic flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town from mid-June, the cash-strapped airline said on Tuesday, as coronavirus lockdown restrictions ease.
SAA, which is under a form of bankruptcy protection, suspended all commercial passenger flights in late March, when the government imposed one of the strictest lockdowns on the African continent.
But President Cyril Ramaphosa said in an address to the nation on Sunday that domestic air travel for business purposes would be phased in after June 1, when the country moves to level 3 of a five-level alert system.
South Africa is currently on alert level 4, a tougher level of anti-coronavirus restrictions.
Ramaphosa did not give an exact date when business travelers would be able to fly domestically, and SAA said it was preparing to resume flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town when permissible.
It added it had decided to extend cancellations of all regional and intercontinental flights until the end of June.
"SAA is committed to restart further operations on an incremental basis, and will regularly provide updates on progress," the statement said.
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