As international travel gently reopens, Emirates looks to reinstate a double daily flight to Johannesburg, including the introduction of Emirates’ iconic A380 on one of the daily flights, in addition to daily services to both Cape Town and Durban.
- Emirates will be expanding its operations in and out of South Africa, boosting its schedule to 28 weekly flights by October.
- With South African Airways (SAA) resuming operations on September 23, Emirates is set to revive its strategic partnership and cooperation with the country’s flag carrier.
- Dubai is preparing to welcome visitors for the world’s largest gathering, Expo 2020, which includes next-generation themed pavilions, futuristic installations, and a packed program of daily events.
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Emirates’ flight schedule expansion comes in response to a surge in customer demand to Dubai as tourist visas have opened up for all nationalities, in addition to the easing of restrictions across some destinations that now allow quarantine-free entry for South Africans.
Emirates’ new frequencies and capacity increases across all of the airline’s gateways in South Africa are effective from October 31 and will be the largest weekly schedule to South Africa since the start of the pandemic, which aims to bring more competitive choices for customers wishing to visit Dubai and travel through Dubai to the airline’s network of over 120 global destinations.
Dubai has long been one of the most popular holiday getaways for South African travelers, and remains among the world’s most visited and recommended destinations, with world-class experiences and new attractions that cater to every age, background, and budget. The city safely welcomed over 4 million overnight leisure and business visitors since it reopened in July 2020.
The airline’s flagship A380 will offer South African passengers the best experience in the sky with signature features like First Class private suites, luxurious Shower Spa, the ever-popular Onboard Lounge, in addition to spacious seating in Economy and Premium Economy Class cabins, which most might not yet have experienced due to its launch in the past year, featuring the industry’s largest seatback screens for flyers to enjoy over 4,500 channels of on-demand entertainment on Emirates’ in-flight entertainment system, ice.
This latest development will also coincide with the revival of the SAA Emirates partnership, which will see Emirates strengthening its footprint across South and southern Africa to four interline and codeshare partnerships, including Airlink, Cemair, and FlySafair, boosting the airline’s route map with 79 additional codeshare and interline cities, offering its customers more flights, greater access to regional destinations, and a better experience when traveling.
The Emirates SAA partnership dates back to 1997 and is Emirates’ first ever codeshare agreement with another carrier. Prior to the pandemic, the partnership developed to include a complimentary joint network of 110 destinations, optimised schedules offering greater connectivity for customers, as well as baggage transfers and enhanced reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.
Since the start of their strategic cooperation, close to 370,000 passengers have benefitted from the Emirates and SAA partnership. With customer convenience top of mind, plans are underway to expand the ability to book connecting flights on both carriers within one itinerary once again.
South African travelers visiting Dubai must present a negative COVID 19 PCR test certificate with a QR code issued within 48 hours of the time the sample was collected at an approved local health facility. Travelers to Dubai must also present a Rapid PCR test report with a QR code for a test conducted at the departure airport within six hours of departure. Passengers arriving in Dubai will be required to take another COVID 19 PCR test on arrival at Dubai International airport.
All passengers transiting in Dubai must complete all the requirements of their final destination. Further information on entry requirements can be found here.
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