Flights in South Africa: The nine major changes to our reopened airports


a person standing in front of a building
© Provided by The South African

Whether you’re a frequent flyer or just someone who enjoys the odd getaway, you’ll be pleased to learn that airports are finally starting to open their doors again in South Africa. After spending 10 weeks under various forms of lockdown, airlines are back in business – but things look very different from the ‘normal’ flights we once knew.

Flights in South Africa – why and where can people travel?

At Level 3 of lockdown, people are allowed to travel for business reasons only. Thousands of workers can now take flight providing they’ve got the necessary paperwork, and if they’re heading to one of four designated airports. The locations allowed to operate under Phase 1 of the plan include:

  • OR Tambo
  • Cape Town International
  • King Shaka, Durban
  • Lanseria, Johannesburg

Fikile Mbalula has made an oversight visit to OR Tambo on Wednesday, to talk us all through how life in the terminals will look for the near future. Safety is paramount, but it all looks a bit… Black Mirror.

The new age: How airports and flights in South Africa have changed dramatically

PPE vending machines in Airports

We thought we’d start with a cracker…

Keep it under wraps…

All baggage is required to be wrapped going into the aircraft. Throughout all airport entry points, there are designated baggage wrappers who can conceal your cases.

Boarding passes for flights

Going forward, all passengers must scan their own boarding passes at the e-gates, eliminating the need for human interaction. Security officers can come and help travellers, but only if absolutely necessary.

Social distancing protocols at airports

Distancing rules apply for queues to board an aircraft. All self-service terminals have an attendant who can help passengers sanitise before using electronic equipment. Gaps of 1.5 metres have been marked on the ground. Sitting areas must keep two clear spaces between each seat, as illustrated by a masked Fikile Mbalula:

Sanitising all flights

All aircrafts are sprayed with disinfectanct before any new passengers board. Prior to take off, cleaning teams with initiate a rapid deep clean on-board the planes to ensure they remain disease free.

Strict control of movement coming to airports

Flights will only be allowed to depart and land at selected airports, but also, passengers and airport staff are the only people allowed inside the terminal buildings. Therefore, no accompanying members of the public will be allowed inside the terminal buildings. Pick-ups and drivers must wait with their vehicles outside.

Check-in protocols before flights

Passengers are advised to check-in online before going to the airport. Failing that, it’s advised that travellers make use of the self-service check-in screens within the airports. The amount of physical check-in desks will be dramatically reduced, and strict social distancing rules still apply.

Accessing the terminals

Passengers must use drop-and-go facilities or public transport. No-one can hang about near the terminals. Limited parkade options – signposted at each airport – will be available for those who require them. Anyone entering an airport will have their temperature checked before being granted access to the building.

New essentials for your journey

Masks are compulsory for all, from entering the airport, through your flight, and up until you leave the airport at your intended destination. Business travel letters must also be kept readily available. The Airports Company website will tell you which terminals and entry points are opened or closed.

The 20 industries that will never be the same after the coronavirus (GoBankingRates)

a person holding a sign: There are occasions when a crisis sparks a wholesale change in the way that America does business. One of those epoch-shifting moments when people are forced to take note of a process they might not have questioned before, only to realize it has to change. Likewise, sometimes it’s a matter of an industry just needing that push to take steps toward the future that might otherwise have dragged on for years. Regardless, a major crisis can often spark major changes in the economy, and thus far, it appears the coronavirus pandemic won’t be any different. Across the country, many businesses are in the process of learning a lot about their supply chains, their products, their workforce and perhaps most of all, just how crucial it can be to have infrastructure in place for remote work. As the coronavirus has essentially redefined the 2020 business year across the U.S., it’s also pushing forward changes — bad and good — for industries everywhere. Last updated: April 16, 2020