MASERU – South African privately-owned regional airline, Airlink, will resume with daily scheduled air services between the neighbouring republic and Moshoeshoe I International Airport in Maseru.
The flights between Maseru and Johannesburg will commence beginning March 29, following government’s prohibition of all international, regional and domestic flights to and from Lesotho on January 14 as one of the country’s measures to contain COVID-19 infections.
This follows the re-opening of Lesotho’s borders and the lifting of travel restrictions that curtailed travel between the countries while they both worked to successfully contain the spread of the Coronavirus.
Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro announced that the country will go on a total lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 infection since a visible surge in new infections and deaths beginning mid-December 2020.
Under the Risk Mitigation colour code Red stage the country was put on at the time, all non- essential services were suspended, while those declared vital during this time operate in line with set World Health Organisation and health ministry COVID-19 safety precaution measures.
Movement across borders was also banned, except for essential goods and services, migrant workers, medical reasons (with permits) and funerals of close family members.
Per government Gazette, Public Health (Covid 19) Risk Determination and Mitigation Measures Regulations of 2021, only essential services and their delivery were allowed during total lockdown.
“After a disruption of several weeks, Airlink is looking forward to welcoming customers onto its flights that provide vital connections supporting trade, business, tourism and family ties between south Africa and the mountain kingdom,” said Airlink CEO, Rodger Foster in a statement on Monday this week.
Our daily return flights between the two cities provide travelers with seamless connectivity with Airlink’s comprehensive network that links South African domestic and Southern African regional destinations, the airline said.
Airlink regretted the suspension at the time, indicating, however, that they respected the decision to temporarily halt passenger flights to Moshoeshoe I airport, Lesotho’s primary air transport gateway and. They apologised to their customers for the inconvenience and disruption to their business that this will cause.
“The well-being of our customers, crew and staff is our priority. Although we are required to suspend our Maseru flight, we continue to operate all of our other flights to destinations throughout southern Africa and within South Africa.
By diligently applying and adhering to stringent bio-security protocols, we have demonstrated that flying is the safest way to travel and that we can continue to support and enable business, tourism and trade without spreading the Coronavirus,” said the airline.
“Airlink is looking forward to re-establishing the vital connections that sustain the all-important trade, business, tourism and family ties between the mountain kingdom and its neighbour.”
Johannesburg – Maseru (from March 29)
Flight 4z 053, will depart Johannesburg daily at 0935hrs arriving in Maseru at 1035hrs.
Flight 4z 052 will depart Maseru at 1100hrs arriving in Johannesburg at 1205hrs.
Airlink intends to add more flights to the schedule in accordance with demand.