South African Airways (SAA) has decided to suspend all of its operations to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, media reports said.
Last week, South African Airways announced that it will cancel all international flights till May 31. However, recently the airline announced that it is cancelling all its domestic and regional operations till May 31 as well.
The announcement from South African Airways follows the South African government’s decision to lock down the country for the next 21 days to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year. The lockdown will go into effect from today, March 27.
With regard to the suspension of operations due to the coronavirus outbreak, Todd Neuman, South Africa Airway’s executive vice president for North America told the media, “Our North America Regional Office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and all commercial departments will suspend operations at close of business on Thursday, March 26 and will remain closed through April 15, 2020.”
“Our utmost desire during this present period of uncertainty is to continue providing duty of care to our valued customers. All customers holding an unused ticket will be able to use its full value as a credit for travel on SAA-operated flights over the next two years, up to March 25, 2022. This is part of SAA’s commitment to support our customers during these unprecedented times and provide flexibility to encourage them to reschedule their travel to Africa at a later date.”
The airline also announced that its acting chief executive officer Zuks Ramasia, who has held the position since June 2019, will be stepping down from his position next month.