Comair, a South Africa-based airline, has extended the suspension of schedule kulula.com and British Airways flights until 31 August 2021 following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Sunday that South Africa would continue to remain on adjusted level 4 lockdown for at least another two weeks.
Comair operates kulula.com and British Airways domestically in South Africa under a license agreement.
The airline has said that the continued suspension was due to the prohibition of all non-essential travel in and out of Gauteng.
This, combined with little-to-no demand for business travel and international travel bans have all led to the decision.
— kulula (@kulula) July 13, 2021
The decision was taken “in the interest of the well-being of employees and customers”, Comair added.
According to News24, tickets for travel with kulula.com for the period 28 June 2021 to 31 August 2021 will remain valid for 12 months until 31 August 2022.
Comair has said that no change of booking fee or fare difference will be charged.
Customers who have valid tickets for British Airways flights are luckily subject to the airline’s flexible booking policy – flights can be easily rescheduled without incurring extra fees.
Customers holding long-haul British Airways 125 tickets on a cancelled British Airways connection during the suspension period, will be provided with alternative flights.
Inability to “Plan Constructively”
“Without government engagement with or support for the aviation sector and associated services, the ability to plan constructively for a meaningful service beyond 30 July 2021 is exceptionally challenging. Taking the potential variables into consideration, Comair plans to resume scheduled operations on Wednesday 1 September 2021,” Comair says.
Glenn Orsmond, CEO of Comair, says that the decision was not taken lightly, as it would mean a significant impact on both customers and employees.
“However, under the circumstances, we believe it is the correct course of action … We empathise with the government’s unenviable position with regards to balancing the health of the nation and the suffering economy,” said Orsmond.
“We anticipate the vaccine rollout picking up pace in earnest and hope to see it reaching critical mass in the next month or two and look forward to welcoming our customers back on board on 1 September.”