After ten weeks of biding their time, OR Tambo International Airport had their first domestic flight under alert level 3 taking off on Friday morning, bound for Cape Town.
Bongiwe Pityi-Vokwana, general manager of the airport, said the extensive health and safety measures implemented at the airport were working as they should.
“The first domestic commercial flight under level 3 is a significant step forward in demonstrating to the public this airport’s readiness and ability to apply the regulations under operational conditions.
“We encourage passengers to arrive at the airport two hours prior to departure to allow the necessary health and safety measures such as screening to be carried out diligently.
“Together with the airlines, we want to demonstrate that people can use this airport safely. As more airlines resume operations in the coming days, we will closely monitor adherence to the regulations so that passengers can appreciate just how serious we are about ensuring their safety.”
Airport management will seek feedback from employees as well as passengers to identify areas where safety and the passenger experience can be further enhanced, said Pityi-Vokwana.
She advised passengers to look for signs for Parkade 2 South for terminal access for arrivals and departures through the parkade, and no longer from the roadway.
Parkade 2 South, level 2 is for pick-up and drop-off.
CemAir CEO Miles van der Molen said: “CemAir has been very active in repatriation flights during the travel restrictions, but it is particularly pleasing for us to again be able to offer scheduled domestic flights. We are now looking forward to our first flights between Durban and OR Tambo International from Monday.
“Flying under these conditions is going to be challenging for the entire aviation sector, but it’s vital that we get passengers back in the air.”
(Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele)