Etihad Airways will not operate any flights to South Africa until at least 2021.
The national airline of the UAE is closing its Johannesburg office and has suspended all flights between Abu Dhabi and South Africa.
"As part of an ongoing review of network performance due to the impact of Covid-19 on global travel, Etihad Airways' flights from Abu Dhabi to Johannesburg will remain suspended throughout the winter 2020 – 2021 season," confirmed Etihad.
"The continued suspension of the Johannesburg route is one of several adjustments currently being made by the airline during this time," a spokesperson for the airline tells The National.
Etihad also said it was working closely with travellers who were booked to fly to South Africa to inform them of changes to itineraries and to allocate alternative flights.
The Abu Dhabi airline has been flying direct from the UAE's capital to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg for more than 10 years.
The suspension of flights coincides with the South African summer season, which is usually peak season for tourists. It also means there are now no direct commercial passenger flights operating between Abu Dhabi and South Africa's biggest city. Travellers can fly to Johannesburg with KLM, Lufthansa or EgyptAir via a connection.
From Dubai, Emirates continues to fly direct to Johannesburg, operating four services per week. The Dubai airline is also flying four times per week to Cape Town and to Durban thrice weekly. It has also partnered with FlySafair and Airlink to expand its network further throughout Southern Africa.