Emirates suspends SA flights
UAE airline Emirates has suspended flights to and from South Africa.
There will be no flights between South Africa and the United Arab Emirates from January 16 until January 28.
The airline, with headquarters in Dubai, says this is due to operational reasons.
The airline says the last flights from South Africa to Dubai will be on January 14.
Flights from Dubai to South Africa will be on January 15.
“Customers holding tickets with final destinations in South Africa from January 16 to January 28 will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin.
“Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused,” Emirates said.
Affected customers are urged to contact their travel agents or the Emirates contact centre for rebooking options.
Emirates operates flights to Dubai from Cape Town, King Shaka and OR Tambo international airports.
The airline resumed flights to Joburg and Cape Town from October 1 and Durban from October 4 in South Africa.
Dubai was one of the first global cities to be open for tourism last year.
After it underwent one of the strictest lockdowns, the city obtained a Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in June, making it safe for tourists.
In response, Emirates, had a special Covid-19-related medical expense if you are diagnosed with Covid-19 during your trip to Dubai.
The free, global cover was effective for customers flying on the airline until December 31, and was valid for 31 days from your departure date.
In December, IOL Travel spoke to Badr Abbas, the airline’s SVP for commercial operations in Africa about the measures they took to make sure that travellers using the airline were safe.
“Emirates has been working closely with local and international authorities to responsibly and gradually resume operations by making the health and safety of our customers a top priority.
“We have also opened a number of our destinations.
“We are currently sitting at 70% of pre-pandemic network and we hope to fully restore our network in early 2021.
“We have also redesigned every step of the customer journey.
“We have really tried to make it as safe as possible, and this includes us introducing the airline industry’s first travel insurance, in addition to the Covid-9 insurance, at no cost to the passenger.”
This led to an influx of tourists during December and January, including a number of high profile South Africans.
Celebrities like Bonang Matheba, Connie and Shona Ferguson and Rosette Ncwana spent part of their festive season in Dubai.