Home News Excitement as city welcomes first passenger flight

Excitement as city welcomes first passenger flight

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“Twenty passengers arrived on the flight from Johannesburg to Kimberley. This was unexpected and really good news as it shows that people want to come to the Northern Cape.”

The Executive Mayor of Sol Plaatje Municipality, Patrick Mabilo, welcomed the first Airlink flight that arrived at the Kimberley Airport this morning. He is seen standing with the pilots and aircrew. Photos: Danie van der Lith

THERE was great excitement at the Kimberley Airport on Monday morning when the first passenger flight, following the lockdown, landed in the city.

Airlink has reintroduced flights from Johannesburg to Kimberley three times a week and Cape Town to Kimberley twice a week, while Cemair is also set to start offering flights from the city.

Kimberley Airport manager, Nicola Smith, said on Monday that the airport staff were very excited to welcome the first passengers to the city.

“Twenty passengers arrived on the flight from Johannesburg to Kimberley. This was unexpected and really good news as it shows that people want to come to the Northern Cape,” said Smith.

She added that five people left Kimberley to fly to Johannesburg on the return leg of the trip.

“There is another Airlink flight this evening from Johannesburg and from tomorrow (Tuesday), passengers will no longer be required to obtain permits to fly between the provinces.

“We will continue with our Covid screening at the airport and would like to advise passengers that it is safe to fly, as long as the necessary precautions are adhered to,” Smith added.

“It is significant that the borders of the city will be open from tomorrow as we need people to support the local economy and we encourage people to make use of air transport when travelling.

She said that it was also exciting that Cemair would start operating in the city soon. “It is good news for Kimberley that we have two airlines available that travellers can choose from.”

Smith added that despite the fact that there were no passenger flights into and out of the airport during the lockdown, the staff and management team had been very busy ensuring that the airport had the necessary standard operating procedures in place and that they were ready to welcome the first aircraft.

“We welcome all feedback and would like to encourage passengers to contact us if they have any suggestions or inputs on how they feel we can improve their experience at the airport.”

Airlink is currently offering an early morning and late afternoon service on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between Johannesburg and Kimberley.

There will also be afternoon flights between Cape Town and Kimberley on Tuesdays and Thursday.

Airlink has also assured customers that safety remains a priority.

“Safety and well-being – yours and ours – remain our primary concern. Our aircraft are equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters, which are effective at blocking 99.97% of particulates, including coronavirus molecules. These filters help to continually sterilise the air in our cabins, which is renewed entirely every three minutes,” Airlink stated.