Corporate Travel Chronicles – February 2020

Welcome to the first Corporate Travel Chronicles of 2020, your monthly news round-up bought to you by Club Travel Corporate. This news-in-brief summary will help you, the travelling professional, navigate the ins and outs of business and corporate travel. Every month, we summarise the most important stories in recent weeks and deliver them to you in an easy-to-digest, bite-sized format.

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Corporate Travel Chronicles keeps you on the pulse of industry updates, airline anecdotes, travel advisories among a pick of the most important stories in recent weeks.

For February 2020 we bring in to focus:


R3.5bn funding extends SAA lifeline

Business rescue practitioners tasked with saving South African Airways confirmed that the Development Bank of Southern Africa has committed R3.5bn to the crisis-stricken carrier. “Stakeholders of [SAA] should now have comfort that the rescue process is on a significantly sounder footing, and that passengers and travel agencies and airline partners may continue to book air travel on SAA with confidence,” business rescue said in a statement issued in the last week of January. In recent weeks, government has managed to secure the balance of the funds required to meet SAA’s short-term liquidity necessities until the business rescue plan is published in February 2020.

Airlink to operate under own flight code – “4Z”

Airlink, Africa’s largest privately-owned airline, and SAA have redefined their partnership by replacing their franchise agreement with a new commercial arrangement. In terms of the new agreement, from 11 June 2020 Airlink will drop the “SA8” flight designator and operate scheduled flights under its own unique “4Z” flight code. Airlink said, “This decision represents an important milestone in extending the commercial reach of the airline in its own right.” The “4Z” flight code will enable Airlink to develop more routes and frequencies on an independent basis, as well as extend opportunities to establish new agreements with leading international airlines. Read more about this development on the Airlink website.

Coronavirus declared global health emergency by WHO

The coronavirus has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization, as the outbreak continues to spread outside China. “The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The concern is that it could spread to countries with weaker health systems. The virus has now spread to more than 25 countries and regions, with a total of 28,273 confirmed cases and 565 deaths globally – numbers and statistics recorded as of 6 February 2020. Most international cases are in people who had been to Wuhan in Hubei.

Fastjet launches two new routes

Zimbabwe’s Fastjet will introduce flights between Victoria Falls and Kruger Mpumalanga, as well as a new Bulawayo-Victoria Falls service on 6 July. Flight FN8801 will depart from Victoria Falls (VFA) at 11h20 and arrive at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) at 13h05. Flight FN8802 will leave KMIA at 13h35 and arrive in VFA at 15h15. The service operates on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Flight FN8671 departs Bulawayo at 11h05 and arrives in Victoria Falls at 12h05. Return flight FN8672 departs VFA at 15h50 and arrives in Bulawayo at 16h50. The flight operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

SA passport drops 10 positions in global index

South Africa ranks at number 56 on the Henley Passport Index, almost ten places lower than its position in 2010. In 2010, South Africa ranked at number 47 and had visa-free access to 88 countries – currently, South African travellers can travel to 100 destinations, either visa free or with a visa on arrival. In recent years, South African passport holders have lost visa-free access to places like New Zealand. View the Henley Passport Index.

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