In an effort to get much-needed supplies to the violence-stricken province of KwaZulu-Natal in the aftermath of days of unrest, low-cost airline FlySafair has scheduled extra flights into Durban.
Speaking to 702’s Bruce Whitfield, FlySafair CEO Elmar Conradie commented on a possible way forward for the country as a “main artery” in the South African road network had been cut off as a result of the violence.
Conradie explained that the airline began the week wondering whether or not they should cancel flights to and from Durban but added that they had to reconsider after receiving a flood of requests on Tuesday from people who wanted to flee the province.
“We started adding additional flights which we normally wouldn’t do at such short notice because flights normally need time to sell their tickets.”
“From Friday onwards, we added about 18 flights and then from yesterday (Wednesday), with the N3 being closed, we started getting requests from companies that wanted to send food.”
According to the CEO, FlySafair also needed to get food and supplies their own staff based in Durban.
“So we’ve added the additional flights… Firstly to try and help people to get out of there and secondly to take freight into Durban and out of Durban.”
FlySafair has also made a provision for people to carry one extra bag at no additional cost, to get as many supplies into the province as possible.
This includes essentials like food, medical provisions and yeast, to bake bread.
Conradie counted 38 flights in and out of Durban for the weekend period between Friday and Monday.
Most people making use of the emergency FlySafair flights are heading to Cape Town.