Emirates will use the world’s largest passenger jet on a daily route between Dubai and Johannesburg.
From October 31, the airline will fly twice daily to the South African city. One of these daily services will be operated by the airline’s A380 double-decker, which can accommodate more than 500 passengers.
The Dubai airline is also boosting services to Cape Town and Durban, with daily flights scheduled to operate from the end of October.
It is the most significant update from the airline on flights to and from South Africa since the start of the pandemic. By October, Emirates says it will operate 28 weekly flights between the UAE and South Africa.
Looking ahead to next year, the airline will add a second A380 service to its Johannesburg route, flying the world’s largest passenger jet twice daily to South Africa’s largest city.
Some of these flights will be served via Emirates’s newest superjumbos, which are fitted with the airline’s much anticipated Premium Economy cabins.
Can I travel to Dubai from South Africa?
Travel to and from South Africa has been severely restricted throughout the pandemic. With Dubai tourist visas now open for all nationalities, and several destinations allowing quarantine-free entry, Emirates is expecting a rise in demand.
Tourists flying to Dubai from South Africa must show a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate containing a QR code that's been taken no more than 48 hours before travel.
A rapid PCR test report inclusive of a QR code must also be taken at the departure airport, within six hours of flight times. Upon arrival in Dubai, travellers from South Africa will have to take an additional Covid-19 PCR test.
Transit is also allowed from South Africa for anyone looking to travel through Dubai, direct to another country. As well as following all the requirements for the intended destination, transit travellers from South Africa must also have a negative Covid-19 PCR test, taken no more than 72 hours before departure, to be able to use Dubai as a transit hub.
Is South Africa open to tourists?
South Africa reopened to tourists in October with some restrictions in place.
International travellers can fly into select airports which include Johannesburg, Durban or Cape Town, and must be aware of curfew hours, which prohibit movement from 10pm until 4am.
All travellers must complete this form within 48 hours of their trip, and will need to show it on arrival at the airport. A negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival is also required, to avoid additional testing and potential quarantine. Children under 5 are exempt. There's also an app called the Covid Alert South Africa app that travellers must download.
South Africa continues to battle with the coronavirus and some countries, including the UK and the US, currently advise against all but essential travel there. Tourists must comply with all safety rules in place including returning to accommodation before curfew, and wearing a face mask in public at all times.
South African Airways, the national airline of the country, is set to begin welcoming passengers to the sky again from September 23, almost a year since its last flight. Emirates has a long-standing partnership with the airline and plans to restore this by the end of September.
Emirates also has partnerships with Airlink, CemAir and FlySafair offering travellers access to a number of regional destinations across South Africa.