East London Airport Opening For Business Again

21 July 2020

East London Airport will reportedly resume their operations again this week after being given the green light by the Department of Transport. 

Last week, Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula announced the East London, George and Kimberley were good to operate again after they met all the requirements. According to Airports Company of SA Spokesperson, Senzeni Ndebele, "So far we are aware FlySafair will be flying from Johannesburg to East London as of 24 July."Ndebele reiterated that all travelers are required to complete health screening forms before arrival. 

The reasoning behind this move is based on the premise that "processing can be quicker and avoidance of long queues. The forms are available on our website www.airports.co.za as well as all airline websites when they are doing bookings. 

Masks will be compulsory when entering airport terminals and flights. Ndebele explained the procedure on how flights will occur by stating that: Passengers must use dropand-go facilities or public transport. Only passengers will be allowed into the terminal. Passengers must produce their business travel permission letters at the entrance."

Border Kei Chamber of Business Executive Director, Les Holbrook offered his thoughts on this development. Holbrook cited that the Chamber had to perform important lobbying. "The Chamber petitioned all authorities likely to be responsible for granting approval. It is very important that travellers note all the protocols. Tourism and leisure activities are still not allowed", said Holbrook. 

The BKCOB Executive Director called for the airline carrier to pursue flights and routes that have additional financial benefit. "This suggests East London must take up over 80% of seats per flight. If not, there is the likelihood of flights being cancelled", said Holbrook. 

Black Business Forum Chairperson Luthando Bara stated that the resumption of the airport "will play an important role in rebuilding the travel and tourism economy. Airports are magnets for business and trade". Bara added that the aviation economy plays a crucial role in driving growth and harnessing the economy recovery plan of the Eastern Cape. 

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