Emirates has announced the suspension of its flights between Dubai and South Africa, with effect from Saturday, January 16. Flights are expected to resume on January 28.
The last three flights from Dubai to South Africa will be today, Friday, January 15.
EK772 will depart Dubai at 02h50 and arrive in Cape Town at 10h35.
EK775 will depart Dubai at 04h30 and arrive in Johannesburg at 10h45. The flight will continue onward to Durban and arrive at 13h35.
EK763 will depart Dubai at 10h05 and arrive in Johannesburg at 16h30.
Industry sources say the reason for the suspension is because the SA variant of the COVID-19 virus has been detected in Dubai.
Joanne Adolphe, ceo of Cullinan Outbound Tourism (and Thompsons Holidays) told Travel News that the suspension presented a big problem for Thompsons, as the operator had been intensively promoting Maldives via Emirates’ Dubai hub for some time. “It’s still school holidays and we are in the middle of the season. The only other carrier we can viably use is Qatar Airways, where the fares, at this short notice, are substantially higher,” she said.
Several international hub carriers have temporarily suspended their flights to South Africa since the identification of the South African variant of the Covid -19 virus, in attempt to arrest the proliferation of the variant in their own countries.
Asked by Travel News if Qatar Airways would follow suit, Fouad Caunhye, regional manager Southern Africa, Qatar Airways said: “We are pleased to confirm Qatar Airways will continue operating 17 weekly flights from South Africa. Adding to our expanding global network, we will commence operations to Cairo and Alexandria from January 18, 2021.