Amid the growing threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, South African Airways (SAA) has announced it will suspend all of its international and regional flights.

The suspension follows the gazetting of regulations by minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula this week. These regulations restrict flights from high-risk countries including the US, Germany and the United Kingdom.

“In support of efforts by government to in [sic] dealing with this pandemic, and in the best interests of our crew, passengers and the public, we have decided to suspend all international and regional flights until 31 May 2020. It is a responsibility of all of us and not just government to curb further transmission of the virus. Especially because we operate in the high-risk regions,” acting chief executive officer for SAA, Zuks Ramasia said in a statement.

The carrier has said that it will continue to operate between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

In addition to the US, Germany and UK, SAA has suspended flights to the following destinations:

  • Accra, Ghana
  • Lusaka, Zambia
  • Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • Mauritius
  • Windhoek, Namibia
  • Lagos, Nigeria
  • Entebbe, Uganda
  • Perth, Australia
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil

The carrier has directed its customers to the SAA website for further updates while apologising for any inconvenience caused.

“We thank customers for the support by continuing to place their trust in South African Airways with their travel plans” concluded Ramasia.

Earlier this week SAA reported it had cancelled 38 international flights and 124 regional flights for March.