SAA has secured approvals during the South African national lockdown to operate repatriation flights to and from several international destinations.

“This is after SAA approached government to grant a special dispensation to continue to operate international repatriation flights due to continued demand,” said spokesperson for the airline, Tlali Tlali.

A registration portal has been created and SAA encourages the use of the portal for those interested in the repatriation flights.

“We require an expression of interest by passengers to determine the commercial and logistical viability of operating these flights.,” said Tebogo Tsimane, acting General Manager for Operations.

He pointed out that registration on the portal determines the viability of the flight. “Once the demand supports the operational viability of the flight, an SAA staff member will contact interested customers to book their flight and issue the tickets,” Tsimane explained.

There are specific requirements per destination and customers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with those requirements for compliance with the regulations and to stand a chance to be able to travel.

Some of the requirements and conditions include the following:

  • Payment of ticket via prescribed method of payment (electronic bank transfers).
  • Baggage allowance for a charter flight is standard two (2) pieces at 23kg per piece and one (1) x 7kg for hand luggage per passenger.
  • All passengers MUST carry their own PPE/masks for the flight.
  • No one who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be allowed to board the flight.
  • A refund will be provided if passengers are not approved to travel or they show symptoms of COVID-19 on the day of departure.
  • Passengers are responsible for their own onward connections if applicable.
  • No pets and live animals will be allowed. However, guide dogs will be allowed.

“Registration on the portal does not constitute a reservation for the flight, it is only a record of customers’ interest. We urge customers not to make any payments into the SAA bank account until they have been confirmed by SAA and received a booking reference which they will use to make payment,” said Tsimane.

The airline will update its registration portal on a regular basis to include new destinations once approvals have been secured.