After months of suspending South African operations, Emirates has resumed flights to the country. The move follows the recent easing of UAE entry protocols for 12 countries.
As a result, the airline has increased flights to Johannesburg from daily to 11 weekly flights, with four linked flights with Durban.
Emirates also flies to and from Cape Town with three weekly services. Those travelling out of South Africa can connect to destinations in Europe, Middle East, West Asia and the United States. Of course, the countries would need to permit South African travellers.
"Flights to/from South Africa have also been scheduled to allow for convenient connections and additional access to Emirates’ four gateways in the UK, as well as Emirates’ extensive US network," the airline said in a statement.
Alderman James Vos, MEC for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management and Tourism at the City of Cape Town, said the renewed flights will further boost travel and trade between the two destinations.
"While international passenger volumes at Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) are at about 9 000 passengers per day, down from 15 000 prior to the third wave, the airport has seen a steady increase since the country returned to an adjusted Alert Level 3 lockdown. With more international airlines such as Emirates coming back on board, we are sure to see that number increase significantly.
"These renewed flights signal our important connection with Dubai. Our two great cities have forged a strong relationship. These flights are also yet another indication that Cape Town is opening up to existing source markets. And with the Air Access team, who receive funding from the City, working hard to bring more airlines here, I’m confident that we will soon be welcoming flights from new regions too," he said.
In addition, Emirates will be restoring capacity across 29 cities on its network on over 270 flights, including fine-tuning its schedules to boost frequencies and capacity as demand for international leisure and business travel grows.
The airline has resumed passenger services to over 120 destinations, recovering close to 90% of its pre-pandemic network.