Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula.

Airlines are already planning to launch additional routes, following the Department of Transport’s announcement that more airports would open for domestic flights from July 1

At an aviation industry briefing on Monday (June 29), Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said, in addition to the airports that are currently operational (OR Tambo, Lanseria, Cape Town International and King Shaka International), the following seven airports would open on Wednesday:

  • Bram Fischer International Airport
  • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
  • Pietermaritzburg Airport
  • Port Elizabeth International Airport
  • Richards Bay Airport
  • Skukuza Airport
  • Upington International Airport

FlySafair’s chief marketing officer, Kirby Gordon, said the airline would fly between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth and Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, starting Monday, July 6. Flights are already on sale, Gordon told Tourism Update. “In the first week, we will fly three or four flights. We are awaiting the final schedule. We will up this to daily frequencies from July 13.”

Airlink will add flights from Johannesburg to Bloemfontein, Nelspruit KMIA, Upington and Pietermaritzburg as well as from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and to Bloemfontein, effective July 6. “A little later, we are planning to introduce a Richards Bay service but we are waiting to see how customers respond to see when this will start,” Airlink CEO and md, Rodger Foster, told Tourism Update, adding  that the airline sorely missed George, East London, Kimberley and Mthatha airports.

CemAir plans to introduce flights to these destinations , says CEO Miles van der Molen. He says agents can expect more information within the next 24 hours. “We welcome additional airports being opened but we believe that leisure travel needs to be allowed because volumes are still too low.”

Easing of regulations

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) has reviewed its earlier decision of ‘no catering’ on board aircraft by permitting airlines to provide pre-packed meals.

The meals must be placed in front of the seat for each passenger before passengers board the aircraft. This, the Minister said, would allow for minimised movement during flight.