Emirates restarts flying passengers out of South Africa this weekend

Business Insider SA
Emirates flights south africa
(Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)
  • Emirates has confirmed that it will resume flying passengers out of South Africa on Saturday 29 January.
  • This comes following an announcement by the United Arab Emirates that the ban on travellers from South Africa, and 11 other countries, would be lifted.
  • The travel ban has lasted for two months and was imposed shortly after the discovery of the Omicron coronavirus variant in late November.
  • Emirates will resume its double daily schedule and Cape Town and Durban routes on 1 February.
  • For more stories go to

Emirates will fly passengers out of Johannesburg on Saturday for the first time in two months following the easing of travel restrictions.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on Wednesday that travellers from South Africa – and 11 other African nations – would be allowed to enter the country from Saturday 29 January. This brings an end to a two-month-long travel ban which was imposed shortly after the discovery of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Emirates, which has extended its suspensions of flights from South Africa at least four time over the past two months, confirmed on Thursday that it would resume its flights schedule. Emirates flights to South Africa have been limited to carrying passengers into – but not out of – Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport.

The airline will start flying passengers out of Johannesburg on Saturday, the same day the UAE's travel ban ends. Double daily services will resume on 1 February.

Flights to and from Cape Town and Durban, which have remained suspended since late November, will also resume on 1 February.

Emirates flight EK 761 departs Dubai at 04:40 while EK 762 departs Johannesburg at 13:25, arriving in Dubai at 23:45hrs.

All passengers travelling from Johannesburg to Dubai need to present a negative PCR test result – with scannable QR code – obtained within 48-hours of departure.

Passengers, with Dubai as their final destination, will also be retested upon arrival at the airport. These passengers are required to self-isolate until they receive their test results. If positive, they will be required to quarantine.

Children under 12-years-old are exempt from these testing requirements.

The UAE initially opened to tourists back in August, provided that those visiting were fully vaccinated. Emirates told Business Insider South Africa that vaccination is no longer a requirement for a UAE visa. Travelling to Dubai, Emirates’ base, only requires a negative test result obtained 48-hours prior to departure and another post-arrival test.

Transit passengers need to comply with the testing requirements of their final destination.

Testing and vaccination details must be uploaded to the Al Hosn app. Entry into most venues and public spaces is only permitted for those who have the Al Hosn app and can confirm that they have been fully vaccinated.

Note: This article has been updated to include Emirates’ comments on vaccinations no longer being a requirement for a UAE visa. 

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

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