The Dubai-based airline Emirates will operate passenger flights to a South African city from 1 December 2021.
According to a press release posted on their official website on 30 November, from 1 to 31 December 2021, Emirates will operate passenger flights four times a week into Johannesburg.
However, due to current travel restrictions, Emirates will not be carrying outbound passengers from Johannesburg.
This comes after Emirates suspended flights to and from South Africa due to growing concerns over the Omicron COVID-19 variant. Emirates is one of many who suspended their flights – with Thailand being the latest to impose a travel ban.
Until further notice, Emirates has temporarily suspended passenger operations to and from Durban and Cape Town.
Customers affected by flight cancellations do not need to call them immediately for rebooking. Customers can simply hold on to their Emirates ticket and when flights resume, get in touch with their travel agent or booking office to make new travel plans.
In order to receive the latest updates on their flights, customers are also advised to ensure that their contact details are correct by visiting Manage Your Booking.
In an address to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa said there was no scientific basis for the travel bans and that South Africa was the victim of unfair discrimination.
He also argued that the bans would not be effective in preventing the spread of the variant.
“The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic,” he said.
He called on countries with bans in place to “urgently reverse their decisions… before any further damage is done to our economies”.
Ramaphosa said South Africa would not impose new restrictions, but would “undertake broad consultations on making vaccination mandatory for specific activities and locations”.