South African Airways (SAA) said on Friday that it would immediately suspend all intercontinental flights until May 31 in response to a government travel ban aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

In support of efforts by government to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, and in the best interests of our crew, passengers and the public, we have decided to suspend all international and regional flights until 31 May 2020. It is all our responsibility, not just government, to curb further transmission of the virus,” read the statement in parts.

SAA acting chief executive Zuks Ramasia said operating during the deadly coronavirus pandemic could be a risk to their staff contracting the bug or being trapped in foreign nations over the same in the wake numerous travel bans.


“In addition, the increasing risks to our crew of contracting the virus including the possibility of being trapped in foreign destinations as a consequence of increasing travel bans cannot be ignored,” said Ramasia.