Due to the COVID-19, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says international bookings in Africa are down roughly 20% in March and April; domestic bookings have fallen by about 15% in March and 25% in April, according to the latest data. African airlines had lost US$4.4 billion in revenue as at 11 March 2020. Ticket refunds have increased by 75% in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 (01 February – 11 March). IATA wants governments to support airlines to recover.
…Calls For Government Support To African Airlines
The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) urges African governments to consider the compensation of inevitable losses, the alleviation of exogenous operating costs, and the subsidization of the African airlines in a bid to assure the industry’s viability. AFRAA strongly recommends that African airlines engage their stakeholders to develop an all-inclusive proactive response strategy that addresses the adverse impact of the COVID-19 on their business to ensure airlines recover effectively to support key economic sectors.
…Imposes Travel Ban On 13 Countries
The Federal Government of Nigeria is restricting entry into the country for travellers from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, United States of America, Norway, United Kingdom, Netherlands & Switzerland.
These are countries with over 1,000 cases domestically. All travelers returning from these countries prior to the restriction will be in supervised self-isolation, monitored by NCDC and Port Health Services. The Federal Government of Nigeria has also suspended the issuance of visa on arrival to travellers from these countries.
… Cancels Series Of Flights Amidst Coronavirus
Effective 26 March until 30 April 2020, Air Seychelles says will be cancelling 10 flights on the Mauritius route, whilst on the Johannesburg route the airline will be cancelling 11 flights. On the Mumbai route a total of 21 flights will be cancelled until 30 June, 2020, due to the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID -19).
…Suspends All Flights To And From India
Air Mauritius says it is suspending all flights to India until 15th April 2020. The suspension comes after the Government of India issued a travel advisory, limiting travel to and from India due to COVID-19.
Air Mauritius says all passengers with existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas stand suspended till 15th April 2020.
…Adheres To WHO, IATA Protocols On Covid-19 Coronavirus
South African Airways (SAA) assures customers that its operational health and safety procedures adhere to the procedures, advice and guidelines from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, International Air Transport Association (IATA), Civil Aviation Authorities as well as the airports and customs authorities’ directives to ensure the safety of its customers FROM covid-19.
…Issues Statement On Covid-19
Following the confirmation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Africa, Kulula says it will monitoring the situation with the relevant industry partners, regulators and health authorities, as well as implementing additional personal hygiene measures on all flights.
Kulula says the safety and wellbeing of customers and personnel is a priority and measures have been put in place to heighten the focus on hygiene across the board.
…Grounds 75% Of Its Fleet
Virgin Atlantic says it will reduce its schedule, prioritizing core routes based on customer demand. This change amounts approximately 80% reduction in flights per day by 26 March, due to COVID-19. As a direct consequence Virgin Atlantic will be parking approximately 75% of its fleet by 26 March and at points in April will go up to 85%. Staff will be asked to take eight weeks unpaid leave over the next three months, with the cost spread over six months’ salary, to drastically reduce costs without job losses.
…Bans Travellers From Infected Countries
The government of Ghana has imposed a temporary ban on travellers from countries that have recorded cases of coCovid-19. This was revealed by the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrkumah, at a media briefing.
Mr Nkrkumah states that there will be a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for persons who are otherwise allowed to enter the Ghanaian jurisdiction. Guidelines for self-quarantine will be available at the various Ghanaian ports of entry. Enforcement protocols are being deployed in collaboration with state security and health authorities.
…To Keep Watch On Covid-19 Updates
Comair says it remains in close contact with industry partners, relevant regulators and health authorities regarding the implementation of measures against the spreading of the Coronavirus and will continue to follow their advice.
Comair says it is committed to safeguarding all it employees and customers; and will continue to monitor, implement and improve measures to prevent the COVID-19 disease from spreading. All 26 aircraft in the Comair fleet are fitted with high-efficiency particle filters.
… Suspends All International Passenger Flights, Creates Special Funds To Tackle Covid-19
The Kingdom of Morocco has decided to suspend, until further notice, all international passenger flights to and from its territory due to the COVID-19. This was revealed through the ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans abroad. King Mohammed VI says 10 billion Dirhams fund will be dedicated to cover the costs of upgrading medical equipment, in terms of adapted infrastructure and additional means which are needed to be urgently provided.
…Oneworld, SkyTeam, Star Alliance Call For Extraordinary Governments Support
On behalf of their member airlines, the three global airline alliances oneworld®, SkyTeam and Star Alliance are jointly calling on governments and stakeholders to take action to alleviate the unprecedented challenges faced by the global airline industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three global alliances, which represent almost 60 airlines around the world that contribute more than half of global airline capacity, are strongly supporting a request by the International Air Transport Association for regulators to suspend slot usage rules for the northern summer 2020 season as the airline industry suffers from extraordinary reductions in passenger demand.
…Push for Robust Control Activities
WHO says the global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surpassed 100 000. WHO says China and other countries are demonstrating that spread of the virus can be slowed and impact reduced through the use of universally applicable actions, such as working across society to identify people who are sick, bringing them to care, following up on contacts, preparing hospitals and clinics to manage a surge in patients, and training health workers.
CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES
…Introduces Anti-Coronavirus Measures
China Eastern Airlines says it’s taking tougher measures to prevent and control the spread of the novel coronavirus on the international flights in hardest-hit countries and regions. The employees will take the temperature of the passengers and update the information about the passengers as requested by the local health department and airport. Each flight will reserve the seats on the right of the last three rows for symptomatic passengers, separate from others.
… Issue Joint Statement On COVID-19
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) published a joint statement providing updated advice regarding COVID-19 and civil aviation. The joint statement comes amidst increased international cooperation in order to coordinate the response to COVID-19, and was welcomed by aviation industry groups. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu, in the statement, reaffirm their commitment as UN specialized agencies to foster greater international cooperation to contain the virus and to protect the health of travellers.
…Issues Safety Directive To Combat COVID-19
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued a safety directive to reduce the risk of spread of the COVID-19 through flights to and from high risk areas. EASA mandates thorough disinfecting and cleaning of aircraft which operate from high-risk destinations after each flight. Exceptions can be made only when disinfectants with a longer-lasting effect are used – but even in those cases a thorough disinfection is mandated no later than 24 hours after departure from a high-risk airport.