Emirates is set to make flying to South Africa easier as part of a newly signed deal.
The Dubai airline has announced an interline agreement with FlySafair, a low-cost airline owned by Safair Airlines. The agreement is set to open up connections for passengers flying with Emirates to select routes on FlySafair's network across South Africa.
Emirates passengers flying into Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban can now continue their journey via FlySafair's domestic routes. This includes flights to places such as Port Elizabeth, East London and George.
The agreement means passengers flying from Dubai can book a single-ticket to their final destination in South Africa and will be able to check their baggage directly there. It also means travellers won't always have to backtrack to their initial destination when catching a flight back to Dubai.
The low-cost South African airline restarted flights earlier this year and is set to reach full operating capacity this month.
"International traffic is still very limited given the various restrictions in place, but we are happy to report that there has been a slow and steady sharp rise in the volumes of flights we are selling through our connection agreements like that with Emirates," said Kirby Gordon, chief marketing officer at FlySafair.
Emirates resumed flights from Dubai to Johannesburg and to Cape Town on October 1, and to Durban on October 8.
On November 11, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the country was open to travellers from all destinations, with the previous red-listed country system being scrapped. He said, "By using rapid tests and strict monitoring, we intend to limit the spread of the infection through importation."
Emirates has since issued a trade release stating: “We heard you Mr President – International Travel is Open."
The Dubai airline has increased flights between Dubai and South Africa. It now operates 17 flights per week between Dubai International Airport to Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.
Emirates previously announced an interline agreement with Airlink, a privately owned partner of South African Airways, to give travellers access to 45 more destinations across southern Africa.