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Home » Coronavirus flight cancellations: Information on refunds, changes and more

Coronavirus flight cancellations: Information on refunds, changes and more

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Everything you need to know regarding the changes, cancellation and refund policies for your flights during COVID-19

The effects of the outbreak of the coronavirus have undoubtedly led to travel disruptions and restrictions across the globe, with dire consequences for all — from the grounding of aircrafts to releasing employees and the cancellation of flights left, right and centre.

This affects us all and in these uncertain times, no carrier is immune to these realities. 

Flights cancelled due to COVID-19

Here’s a current summary of who’s doing what to try assist us travellers the world over. Most websites contain coronavirus updates and should be visited frequently for any changes.

The general consensus it seems is that customers who have booked through a travel agent, should contact their travel agent directly instead of the airlines. Alternatively, the re-booking of tickets can be done through each airline’s helpline.


South African Airways (SAA) has scaled down its capacity in response to the low demand for air travel and is offering customers one free change in reservations on selected international routes to be used for travel on or before the 30 September 2020.

SAA will allow this one free change of booking for tickets issued between 13 March to 30 April 2020 for travel on selected routes, including those between Johannesburg and New York, Washington DC, Frankfurt, Munich and London — and without penalty or change fees.


Guests who have bookings or intended to travel with Mango until 30 April 2020, will now be able to change their flight dates. Mango will waiver the change fees applicable when making this date change. Please note that these changes can only be made via their call centre.

For travellers who are unable or unwilling to make use of the once-off booking change offering, they will also be issuing vouchers equal to the value of the fare and all applicable taxes, which will then be valid for a period of six months from the date of issue. Nice one, Mango!


Comair is consolidating its flight operations according to demand and continues to keep customers informed via both its website and social channels.

To save on time, all flight bookings can be managed online, if you booked after 13 March 2020 for travel before 17 May 2020. No change of booking fee will apply, but there may be a fare difference that will need to be paid.

If you booked before 13 March 2020 for travel before 17 May 2020, you’ll have to contact the Kulula or the British Airways contact centre 72 hours ahead of your flight. No change of booking fee will apply, although there may be a fare difference that will need to be paid.


FlySafair is making special preparations to allow customers to cancel or change reservations made before 15 March 2020. You’re able to change the date and/or route of your flight without incurring a penalty fee, but you will be liable for fare differences, if and where applicable.

Photo: Adobe Stock

International routes

Wondering what to do about your planned international trip? With the situation changing on a daily basis, there are no set answers and the best you can do is to make decisions based on the current information available.

With policies changing regularly though, it’s best to keep those airline tabs open and in the background.

British Airways

BA is reportedly working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to continue flying where travel restrictions allow and where it is safe to do so – and assure their customers that updates will be posted in real-time.

Be sure to check your “Manage My Booking” section online, where you’re offered greater flexibility by being able to change the destination, date of travel, or both for free, on all new bookings made from Tuesday 3 March to Sunday 31 May 2020, as well as any existing bookings that depart up to Sunday 31 May 2020. 

Cathay Pacific

With more than a 90% reduction of capacity for April, all Cathay flights that connect through or have as a final destination the United States (US) or Europe, are eligible for a refund. All flights booked between 9 March and 20 April are also eligible for free re-booking for travel until 28 February 2021.

Flights booked for travel until April 30, 2020 to and from the following are eligible for cash refund provided they were booked on or before certain dates: Wuhan, China, Mainland China, Philippines, Taiwan, India, Israel, South Korea, Thailand, Nepal, Australia, Cambodia, New Zealand, Belguim, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and Japan.

Photo: Adobe Stock


The nation of Qatar has suspended air travel from 18 March for a minimum of 14 days due to recent coronavirus updates. Entry into Qatar will only be permitted for Qatari nationals and although transit through Doha is still permitted, Qatar Airways is currently shut down and all cancelled flights will be refunded.

Tickets for travel until 30 June 2020 may be re-booked or exchanged for a voucher valid for one year from the issue date.


The Lufthansa group of airlines has a sweeping policy that is quite clear.  All tickets booked before 5 March 2020, with travel before 30 April 2020 can be re-booked as late as 31 December 2020 without a change fee. Flights booked between 6 and 31 March 2020 are also eligible for re-booking until 31 December.  Fare differences will apply.

Source: The South African Read More

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