It indeed calls for a celebration for the South African state following the reopening for international flights. This was after the country was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic that quickly escalated in the country. South Africa is the most affected African country, with a total of 674,339 virus infections. Restrictions were put forward to help curb the situation, shutting the airports being one of them. This was an essential move since most of the conditions were recorded to originate from foreign countries. It was one of the most challenging decisions for the country to enact because tourism accounts for its economic growth.
The grand celebrations and arrival of international flights
Well, it was all fun and dance at the airport after a long six months shut at the airport. The Emirates flight from Dubai was met with a warm welcome into the country. Jets of water were sprayed into the air to form an arc-like shape in the coastal city of Cape Town on Thursday. The crew was entertained with a group of South African dancers aligned up at the airport to receive them. Music was joyfully accompanied by a flurry of the South African flags.
The passengers were happy to be back home, stating how they had missed being with their loved ones. International students also affirmed how they were grateful and couldn’t hide their joy of getting back to their studies. The Emirates plane was closely followed by an Ethiopian airline from Addis Ababa. Other countries like Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe were reported to fly into the country.
Economic impact due to the restrictions
As mentioned earlier, South African airlines contribute significantly to the country’s economy. The visitors, who mostly are tourists, earn the government a right deal amount of revenue. 8.5% of the country’s GDP comes from the tourism business. As a result of the ban, close to 1.5 million people lost their jobs. In July, it was estimated that in a day, 748 million rands, $45 million was being lost following the restrain.
Although the airlines are now open, not all countries have been cleared to land in the south African airports. This rule applies majorly to the countries most affected by the pandemic. It is still not favorable to the stay since the list highlights some of South Africa’s significant sources of tourists. That is the United Kingdom, the United States, and Russia
Desperate for visitors
Although the country is encouraging domestic tourism, foreign visitors are in great need. This is to salvage the employees’ livelihoods who have lost their jobs and bring the country back on its knees. The travel restrictions currently placed are subject to review every two weeks.