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Kate

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Gautrain services suspended during national lockdown

Following President Ramaphosa’s announcement of a national lockdown in an effort to combat the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, has subsequently announced that all commuter rail services will shut down for the duration of the lockdown. This includes all Metrorail and Gautrain services. In full compliance with this announcement by the...

Airlink to suspend all operations during lockdown

Airlink, the South African-based domestic and regional airline, is suspending all operations after midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020 in support of South Africa’s lockdown to slow and contain the spread of the COVID-19. “In the face of this global public health emergency, the safety and well-being of our customers, crew, employees, their families and communities is our priority. It...

SAA suspends all domestic flights in support of national lockdown

South African Airways will suspend all its domestic flights with effect from Friday, 27 March until 16 April 2020 (inclusive). SAA supports this national effort as announced by the government, to retard, contain, manage and disrupt the rate of transmission of the COVID-19. Travellers will receive one free travel change for travel between Tuesday, 24 March and Thursday, 26 March....

Impact of COVID-19 on City Lodge Hotel Group’s operations

Following President Ramaphosa’s pronouncement of a 21-day nationwide lockdown, which the City Lodge Hotel Group fully supports, and the ongoing, significant impact of COVID-19, coupled with the imposition of the ban on international arrivals from most countries and restrictions on domestic travel on the already challenging operating environment, the group is experiencing a significant downturn in occupancies. Prior to the...

Comair suspends flights

In line with the directive from President Cyril Ramaphosa, Comair is suspending all its British Airways (operated by Comair) and kulula.com flights, effective 26 March 2020. Flights will resume on 19 April 2020. Comair will try and accommodate customers wanting to travel over the next two days, subject to availability and fare differences. It will not operate any flights on...

A practical survivor’s guide to self-quarantine from Corporate Traveller

COVID-19 has halted business as usual. Around the globe business travel has come to a grinding halt as governments warn against non-essential travel, both domestic and international; borders are closed; and employers are encouraged to support remote working so team members can self-isolate in an attempt to the stem the spread of the virus. South Africa is still a few...

Q&A: Radisson – Aiming for the stars

Q: How many brands do you have operating in Africa, and which have been the most well-received by the public? A: Radisson Hotel Group historically only operated with two brands in Africa – Radisson Blu in the upper upscale segment and Park Inn by Radisson within the midscale segment. Today, we have five brands available to develop across Africa, with...

Hotel review: Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate

Background: The Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate received a R100 million ($6.6 million) revalisation, with extensive upgrades to facilities and an addition of 44 new rooms, a well-appointed Presidential Suite and three Executive Suites. Existing rooms received new, stylish soft furnishings. Where Is It? The property borders the Kruger National Park, with parts even overstepping the boundary fence to...

Flight review: Airlink ERJ135

Background: Airlink's origins are rooted in three small airlines, Magnum Airlines, Border Air and City Air, which merged to form Link Airways in the 80s. Subsequently, Link Airways was liquidated in 1992. After Rodger Foster and Barrie Webb, the two founders, had successfully bid for the business, they named the newly acquired airline Airlink. The airline has developed into...

Putting on the brakes

With travel budgets under tighter scrutiny than ever before, car rental agencies are feeling the pinch of price-conscious corporate consumers. “The market is under enormous pressure,” says Martin Lydall, Chief Commercial Officer for Europcar South Africa, which operates over 100 branches across South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, eSwatini and Lesotho. “Volumes are down and there is pressure on price. However there...

Premium travel weathers gloomy economy

It’s no secret that the South African economy – with knock-on effects for the entire region – is in a tight spot. Economic growth is unlikely to top a single percent for the year, unemployment remains stubbornly high, and from investment-grade status to power generation the outlook is gloomy. Last year the business confidence index released by Rand Merchant Bank...

ASATA Column: Managing crises

You have an important meeting in China, but the fast-spreading Coronavirus means the country is in lock-down. You have a flight booked to Spain, but the eruption of a volcano in Iceland has grounded all flights. Travel is fraught with unexpected and uncontrollable events. The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus has once again illustrated the importance of having a proper crisis...