SAA is offering repatriation flights for people who live and work internationally – here’s how much they cost

South African Airways has published a list of international flights which it will operate as part of the country’s repatriation programme.

As international travel is currently prohibited in South Africa, and the county has closed its borders, these flights are are solely for the purpose of the repatriation and are approved by the South African government to assist citizens return to their homes or places of employment.

Due to the costs of the repatriation, as well as the logistics involved, SAA requires interested parties to first register their interest in travelling through this portal.

In addition to South Africa’s rules around travelling, passengers have also been asked to familiarise themselves with the travel rules of their destination countries, with many nations requiring a forced quarantine period upon return.

The full list of flights, including prices, are detailed below.

Details were correct as of 9 June 2020.

Essential travel 

In a directive published at the end of May, Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi approved ‘essential travel’ for South Africans who want to return to countries where they are based.

Motsoaledi said that the approval was made following consultations with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) and the National Coronavirus Command Council.

Motsoaledi said that South Africans who wish to leave the country are permitted to depart only for the following reasons:

  • Work;
  • Study;
  • Family reunion;
  • Take up permanent residency;
  • Receive medical attention.

“South Africa, like many countries in the world, has implemented travel restrictions as part of the measures put in place to fight the spread of Covid-19,”  he said.

“Travel between countries is allowed in special circumstances.”

What you need for essential travel

Motsoaledi said that South Africans wishing to return to the countries where they reside should have the following:

  • A copy of their valid South African passport;
  • A letter confirming their admissibility under the current circumstances from the embassy or other diplomatic/consular representative of the country they want to travel to;
  • If returning by road or connecting via flights, the proof submitted needs to include permission from each transiting country;
  • Proof of means of travel such as air or bus tickets and the intended date of departure.

“South Africans who fall in these categories and satisfy the criteria can send an email to [email protected] An email will be sent to travellers who meet the criteria to enable them to proceed with their travel arrangements,” said Motsoaledi.

“People applying as a group can send one email with the supporting documents for each member of the group.”


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SAA is offering repatriation flights for people who live and work internationally – here’s how much they cost