Emirates coronavirus hoax: All SA flights are operating as normal, says airline
Now that South Africa has confirmed its first coronavirus case, the spread of misinformation will be hard to quell.
Hours after the news broke, a flyer started doing the rounds on various Whatsapp groups which appeared to be an official statement from Emirates Airline.
The notice starts with "Emirates airline has suspended all flights to Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport as of 7 March 2020 until further notice. Emirates sincerely apologies (sic) to all valued customers."
Understandably, the statement caused confusion among SA travellers who use the airline for international travel. Emirates flies daily routes between SA and various destinations, with its main hub stationed in Dubai.
The airline was quick to allay travellers' concerns, and released an official statement.
"We would like to confirm that all Emirates flights to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban are operating as normal," said an Emirates spokesperson.
"For flight updates, please visit: https://www.emirates.com/za/english/help/travel-updates/."
On the latest coronavirus global update, the airline did mention that several countries have imposed travel and immigration restrictions due to COVID-19.
"All customers are requested to check relevant travel advisories from and to the countries to which they are travelling. This is a dynamic situation and it is the responsibility of the customer to ensure there are no entry restrictions at their travel destination," it says on its website.
"We are monitoring the situation closely, and will keep customers informed with the latest operational updates."
In the meantime, customers are advised to check the website for the latest flight updates, rebooking and refund options.