Emirates was the first Middle Eastern airline to fly to South Africa, about 16 years ago, although it was the last to come to Cape Town, preferring to put on more flights to Johannesburg.

Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, was named Best Airline at the second annual South African Tourism Ubuntu Awards.

“This award is proof that Emirates’ commitment to South Africa, offering passengers more choices and flexibility, as well as enabling them to connect seamlessly to a wide range of onward destinations, has resonated with our customers,” said Emirates vice president for sales, Michael Page.

Emirates recently launched a second daily non-stop flight to Cape Town from Dubai, operated by an Airbus 340-500 aircraft in a three-class configuration, providing 12 luxurious first class private suites, 42 angled lie-flat beds in business class and 204 economy class seats.

“South Africa and the United Arab Emirates enjoy a thriving trade and investment relationship, and being recognised by South Africa Tourism Ubuntu Awards, in addition to our second daily service to Cape Town, will help boost this further by supporting new business and tourism opportunities,” said Page.

The new Cape Town frequencies will mean that Emirates now flies 42 times a week to its three South African gateways: Joburg, Durban and Cape Town. - Saturday Star