South African Airways
Local airline South African Airways confirms that flights have been cancelled to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in Mauritius on Wednesday.
According to SAA, flights "will resume as soon as the island's main airport is re-opened" and affected passengers must contact the airline’s call centre for more information and assistance.
SAA cancelled flights between Johannesburg and Mauritius - flights affected are SA 190, SA 191, SA 192 and SA 193. SAA's flights to and from the island are affected.
SAA says that “assistance will be provided to all ticketed customers holding a South African Airways Ticket (only) via any SAA call centre, City Travel Office or dedicated travel agent” subject to these re-booking conditions:
Re-book onto another South African Airways flight for a later date at no extra charge and subject to availability of the same booking class.
Change of cabin will not be permitted.
Change of routing will not be permitted.
This policy is applicable to South African Airways flights only, issued on SA (083) ticketstock and not on separate tickets of other airlines.
Tickets must be re-issued on or before 19 January 2018.
Travel must commence on or before 22 January 2018.
ALSO SEE: ALERT: Tropical cyclone headed for Mauritius, Reunion Island
The airline's spokesperson, Tlali Tlali says that the decision to cancel flights was made to ensure "safety of our passengers and our crew".
"We would like to apologise to our passengers for the inconvenience that has been caused by this cancellation. We are monitoring the situation. We are constantly liaising with the Mauritian authorities and as soon as the weather clears we will resume our flights to both the destinations that is to Mauritius as well as to Johannnesburg out of Mauritius,” says Tlali.
Spokesperson for Comair, Luane Lavery, told Traveller24 that at the moment, British Airways flights from SA to Mauritius scheduled to depart on Saturday, 20 January, will be "leaving as
“The safety of our customers and personnel is always our
first priority. At the current moment our flights to Mauritius scheduled to
depart on Saturday are leaving as scheduled. We have been advised that the head
of the cyclone is expected to hit Mauritius and Reunion early tomorrow morning [Thursday,
18 January] with weather improving towards the weekend,” says Lavery.
“We will keep all our passengers updated should the
situation change at any time. We suggest that customers who are travelling to
the areas affected by the cyclone monitor the weather patterns and news to keep
updated on the situation.
“All travellers already on the islands should monitor the
news and adhere to the safety measures put into place by the country and hotels
at which they reside,” she advises.
All Air Mauritius flights for Wednesday have been cancelled.
“Our Call Centre is also contacting passengers individually
to communicate updates,” says
the airline, adding that it regrets inconveniences caused but stresses that
“the safety of its passengers and crew is its topmost priority”.
Air Mauritius passengers with tickets for travel between 16
January 2018 and 19 January 2018 who wish to modify their travel plans have the
option to do one of the following:
Re-book on alternative Air Mauritius flights scheduled for
until 22 January 2018 at no additional costs.
Re-book on alternative Air Mauritius flights scheduled for
after 22 January 2018 without penalty, provided that requests are made by 31
January (conditions apply).
Cancel their trip and be provided with a full refund,
provided request for refunds are made by 31 January 2018.
here for more information.
What to do when a
Tropical cyclones are also known as a hurricane in the
Carribean or a typhoon in the Pacific.
Rae says that travellers currently in Mauritius and Reunion
Island are advised to continue to monitor the progress of this system via local
radio and tv channels, and everyone needs to follow the advice and instructions
issued by local authorities, “especially with respect to any evacuation orders”.
Photo: Supplied by SA Weather Service.
Rae advises that generally when dealing with cyclone
conditions, people must “seek shelter in a well-built, sturdy building - such
as one’s hotel room or main hotel building - and remain indoors”.
“Bear in mind that strong, damaging easterly to
south-easterly winds as well as progressively roughening seas will precede the
arrival of the storm by a matter of a few hours. Similarly, once the eye, or
core, of the system has passed - heralded by a change in the wind direction to
predominantly westerly winds - strong winds will still be experienced over
Mauritius for most of Thursday,” says Rae.
Tips for travellers
Rae provides the following need to know information for
locals and travellers:
Do not venture outside while the storm is at its peak -
there will most likely be flying debris - trees, branches, parts of buildings,
corrugated iron roofing etcetera, which can cause serious, or even fatal,
Local sea level will rise by at least a few feet - due to
the phenomenon of storm surge - as the cyclone approaches. Local disaster
management authorities will ensure that areas very close to the coast are
evacuated, with residents and travellers moved to higher land. Local
authorities are experienced and would know which coastal villages and hotels
would be most vulnerable.
When venturing outside once the storm has passed, note that
there may well be fallen trees and possibly fallen power lines. Always assume
such lines are still live – stay away from them and do not touch or stand on
such lines until the fire department or electrical department have neutralised
or removed them.
Heavy, torrential rain associated with tropical cyclones
almost always leads to localised flooding on Mauritius and Reunion, whilst the
steep mountainous terrain also contributes to a high risk of mudslides and
rockfall. Typically, some roads and paths are therefore quite likely to be impassable
for some time, following the passage of Berguitta.
As supplies of fresh water may be compromised, it is
generally a good idea to buy a generous quantity of bottled fresh drinking
water before the storm hits. Following the passage of the storm, any water from
other non-bottled sources (intended for drinking or cooking) should be boiled
in order to limit the spread of waterborne diseases or other bacterial
SEE: ALERT: SAA flights to Mauritius cancelled due to Cyclone Berguitta
“Once Berguitta has passed over Reunion sometime late
tomorrow (Thursday), it is expected to move further in a south-westerly
fashion, ultimately turning southward and moving into the southern regions of
the Indian ocean,” Rae says.
He adds that between 20-22 January, the system will be
entering a region of the atmosphere which is characterised by stronger winds. “These
winds have a negative impact on the strength of tropical storms and tend to
significantly weaken the structural integrity of the storm, thus quickly
leading to the demise of such a system,” explains Rae.