Emirates aims to strengthen travel to SA with more cargo operations

Posted on 30 August 2021

Emirates resumed passenger flights to South Africa on 6 August after suspending them in January this year. However, cargo operations to and from South Africa continued and Afzal Parambil, regional manager for South Africa said they are confident that they will rebuild their market in South Africa through the cargo operations.

Cargo operations through Emirates rebuilds travel to SA

‘We realised that, during the pandemic, it is not only about refunds for customers, but they also want alternative options to still be able to travel. Therefore, flexibility is important – allowing changes, including of destination, without additional charges. This builds trust with consumers.’

The United Arab Emirates government approved the resuming of passenger flights to South Africa after the number of Covid-19 cases dropped and the vaccination rollout increased.

Emirates is currently operating to almost 90% of its pre-pandemic destinations – 120 of them.

‘As more countries start to open up their borders for travel to and from SA and adjust their protocol requirements, demand will increase. That is why we decided to increase our capacity to SA as from 1 September with double daily flights to Johannesburg – one of which will connect to Durban – and five flights a week to Cape Town,’ said Parambil.

‘Currently, the demand does not quite merit so many flights, but we want to make sure passengers can have easy onward connections. Dubai is not yet open for leisure passengers from SA. Before the pandemic, it was one of the top destinations for SA travellers and we hope soon it can become so again. We want to, however, be ready for when higher demand returns.’

Parambil foresees that especially when the UK removes South Africa from its so-called ‘red list’, demand will increase a lot.

READ: UK refuses to remove South Africa from the ‘red list’

Emirates works closely with the board of SA Tourism to encourage people on the airline’s network looking for new destinations to come and spend a holiday in South Africa.

‘That way we build our inbound traffic to be more in balance with the higher outbound traffic,’ said Parambil.

Picture: Getaway gallery


Emirates introduces more flights to South Africa



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