Airlines inundated with flight requests to escape Durban for Cape Town
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As mop-up operations got under way across some parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng following days of violent unrest and looting, airlines have been inundated with requests from people wanting to escape the turmoil in their areas.
Elmar Conradie, chief executive of FlySafair, said they had been inundated with so many requests they had to introduce additional flights.
“We have added quite a few flights, especially from Friday onwards about 18 flights for the weekend. The first flight sold out within less than an hour. With the N3 being closed, we started getting requests from people who wanted to get out of Durban.”
In a social media post, journalist Nomsa Maseko shared pictures of a busy King Shaka airport. In one of the pictures, Maseko said: “the shortest queue at the airport is for Joburg flights. SA’s covid-19 #Level4Lockdown regulations require people travelling to Gauteng to have permits showing ’essential’ travel.“
As President Ramaphosa visits areas affected by rioting, King Shaka Airport is very busy this morning. “I’m taking my family to Cape Town for a while, we just need to get away from it all” pic.twitter.com/xV6HcGKnSm— Nomsa Maseko (@nomsa_maseko) July 16, 2021
On Thursday, the airline also announced they had added more flights to Durban to assist with transportation of supplies into the region due to shortages resulting from the destruction of stores and warehouses.
“We have been inundated with requests by individuals and companies seeking to send food parcels to Durban to help those in need.To that end, we have decided to make available a certain allocation of checked bags per flight for people to use for this purpose.”
For individuals who want to send food parcels click here.
By Friday morning, seats were still available on flights departing from OR Tambo in Johannesburg all weekend. However, flights from Durban to Cape Town are only available from Sunday.