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Ministry of Transport says flights requested by agencies violate state of emergency

The Ministry of Transport announced this Sunday that any requests for commercial flights by travel agencies and air operators will be rejected and that humanitarian flights must be requested through diplomatic channels.

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"It has come to our attention that travel agencies and air operators would be promoting commercial flights, completely outside the regime of exceptions to the rules of the state of emergency, so we make it known to the public that such requests, because they are not legally foreseen, will be rejected, so travel agencies and air operators promoting such flights will be subject to the established legal penalties, which may involve the imposition of fines and or the cancellation of licenses to operate their services on national territory," states the Ministry of Transport (MINTRANS) in a press release.

The country's borders have been closed since 20 March to contain the spread of the covid-19 pandemic, but it has authorized the departure of humanitarian flights to allow foreign citizens to return to their countries of origin.

With regard to flights for the repatriation of foreign citizens living in Angola, "it is up to the authorities of the respective countries to request them, and requests for them should be sent through diplomatic channels".

MINTRANS' clarification follows the announcement of four new Luanda-Lisbon flights, on 12, 14, 21 and 22 May, operated by Euroatlantic, TAP and Hi-Fly.

According to Across, published on the website of the Portuguese Consulate in Luanda, a Hi Fly charter flight is scheduled for May 22nd on the Lisbon (1:30pm) -Luanda (8:35pm) and Luanda (11:30pm) - Lisbon (6:15am) routes, but the Lisbon-Luanda route would be subject to the Angolan government's approval for passengers to disembark in Angola.

The Ministry of Transport reiterates in the communiqué that all commercial and private passenger flights abroad and vice versa are suspended due to the state of emergency, renewed on Friday, for another 15 days.

"This suspension is still in force, following the establishment of the national health fence", resulting from the state of emergency declared on 27 March and subsequent extensions, "with the exception of the entry and exit of essential goods and services, humanitarian aid and the entry and exit of patients".

Excluded from the exception are flights for the transport of goods and cargo, flights for the transport of passengers and cargo defined as humanitarian and emergency flights and flights for the transport of passengers in support of oil and mining activities, 'for which authorisations are granted through a process of coordination between the various competent bodies involved'.

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