Comair to send staff home, suspend all flights during lockdown

24 March 2020 - 11:24 By Naledi Shange
From March 27 to April 17, all Comair employees will be staying at home. 'Where possible, employees will work from home. Our operations will be shut down,' said the airline.
From March 27 to April 17, all Comair employees will be staying at home. 'Where possible, employees will work from home. Our operations will be shut down,' said the airline.
Image: 123RF/Tyler Olson.

As the number of people infected with Covid-19 continues to rise, Comair has announced it will suspend its British Airways and kulula.com flights from Thursday.

“We will resume with our scheduled flights on Sunday April 19 2020. Comair will try to  accommodate customers wanting to travel over the next two days, subject to availability and fare differences. We will not operate any flights on Thursday March 26,” the airline's  CEO Wrenelle Stander on Tuesday.

“Effective March 27 2020 until April 17 2020, all Comair employees will be staying at home. Where possible, employees will work from home. Our operations will be shut down.”

It encouraged customers who wished to alter their bookings to do so via e-mail.

“Customers who wish to change their travel date can do so for free; no change of booking fee will be charged; only a fare difference may apply.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on March 23 2020 that the country will be going into lockdown for 21 days. The lockdown is expected to start on midnight March 26 2020 and end on 16 April 2020.

“Customers who do not wish to travel can cancel their flight and will receive a credit to the value of their flight, valid for 12 months from date of issue. A credit or rebooking or rerouting without a change of booking fee, will only apply to tickets issued on or before March 23, for travel until May 17 2020,” Comair said.

The announcement comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day national lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. The lockdown would be effective from Thursday.

Comair said the virus had forced them to consider how they did business, describing it as the “the most devastating global pandemics in modern times”.

“Globally as well as locally, our industry is severely affected by this disaster and it certainly has put a huge strain on our operations and how we serve our customers ... The far-reaching measures designed to curb the spread of this disease in South Africa requires all of us to change the way we do business, serve our customers and interact with each other socially and in the workplace,” Comair said.

“We remain in close contact with various industry partners, relevant regulators and health authorities to ensure we abide by all regulations and remain responsible and proactive in preventing the virus from spreading,” it added.

The airline apologised to its customers for the inconvenience.


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