Etihad launches winter flights to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Zanzibar

Services will operate from November from Abu Dhabi and introductory return fares start from Dh995

Sprawling view of Cape Town and the Mountains that frame it, Table Mountain and Lion's Head. Getty Images

Etihad is boosting the number of flights between Abu Dhabi and destinations in Africa before the end of the year.

The national airline of the UAE is adding services to South Africa’s Johannesburg and Cape Town from November 25. It will also launch direct flights to the popular holiday island of Zanzibar a day later, from November 26.

“We’re proud to be launching Etihad’s newest destinations in Africa this winter and we’re confident our guests will find they are all incredible places to visit,” said Tony Douglas, group chief executive.

“Johannesburg is an important route on our network and offers vital connectivity to and from the southern African region. On the southern coast, Cape Town is a breathtaking part of the world, with something to offer the most discerning traveller. Likewise, the beautiful island of Zanzibar will complement our network to the Maldives and Seychelles offering more choice for leisure travellers looking to enjoy the glorious Indian Ocean,” said Douglas.

Etihad flights to South Africa will operate via a connection in Johannesburg. Flights will depart Abu Dhabi three times a week on the eight-hour flight to South Africa’s biggest city.

Travellers wishing to visit the coastal city of Cape Town can fly onwards from Johannesburg to the Mother City, with a flight time of a little over two hours. Flights will operate on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, with business, economy space and economy seats.

To tropical Zanzibar, Etihad will operate flights on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays via an Airbus A320 jet with economy and business class cabins. It is a short six-hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Abeid Amani Karume International Airport on Unguja Island.

To mark the launch of the routes, Etihad is offering promotional return fares from Dh995 ($270) in economy class, and from Dh3,995 for business tickets to all three destinations. These fares are available on a limited number of seats, on a first come, first served basis.

By November, Etihad says it will operate to 70 different destinations across 47 countries.

Is South Africa open for tourism?

Tourism is back on the cards in South Africa. The country is welcoming travellers who have a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.

Tourists must have electronic and paper copies of their test results. Screening processes are in place at airports across the country, including temperature scanners and additional Covid-19 tests for anyone showing symptoms of the virus. All travellers will need to fill in a health declaration form on arrival.

Zanzibar is also open for travel. The archipelago welcomes tourists who have had a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival. Those coming from countries with the highest number of Covid-19 cases may need to undergo a rapid test on arrival, at a cost of $25. All arriving passengers must also fill in a surveillance form before arriving in Zanzibar – this can be found here.

Neither South Africa or Zanzibar are on the green list for arriving into Abu Dhabi, however vaccinated passengers flying to the UAE no longer need to quarantine when flying from any destination.

Updated: October 3rd 2021, 4:28 AM