RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 29: A scenic view of aircr
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  • Foreign airlines are rapidly listing flights to and from South Africa again, after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the opening of SA's borders from 1 October.
  • Airlines such as KLM and Air France are now taking bookings for flights directly from Cape Town to Amsterdam and Paris.
  • If you fancy spending December in London, you can get a return flight with BA for under R10,000.
  • More airlines are expected to reinstate commercial flights soon.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Nobody can say for sure what demand will be for international travel to and from South Africa when borders open on 1 October – but flight options are popping up fast, with seats going much cheaper than those that have been offered on repatriation flights.

On Thursday KLM and Air France announced they would resume commercial services to South Africa on 1 October. That means daily flights between Johannesburg and Amsterdam, direct flights between Cape Town and Amsterdam four days a week, as well as regular flights between Paris and both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Prices are down dramatically compared September, which remains limited to those with authorisation to travel for good cause while borders remain close to leisure travellers.

KLM’s booking site quoted Business Insider South Africa R16,139 for a one-way flight from Cape Town to Amsterdam on 24 or 27 September. For October, that price drops to R9,189.

Other destinations are even cheaper. For a no-frills, hand-luggage-only ticket from Johannesburg to London departing on 1 December and returning at the end of that month, British Airways on Thursday quoted a price of R9,557.

That is not an anomaly. For the same dates, Virgin Atlantic quoted a price of R9,857 for a directly-booked round trip between Johannesburg and London.

Although European airlines have been particularly quick off the mark in reinstating flights to South Africa, several airlines serving other major destinations are believed to be planning schedules, or expected to announce availability soon.

Here's what you'll pay for return flights to their major hubs on other airlines right now, from Johannesburg, on or near 1 December and 31 December, booked directly via their respective websites, as of early Thursday evening:

  • RwandAir to Kigali: R5,360 ($346)
  • Ethiopian to Addis Ababa: R5,971
  • Kenya Airways to Nairobi: R12,530
  • Air Mauritius to Port Louis: R10,971
  • Air Seychelles to Mahé: R9,006
  • Qatar Airways, to Doha: R13,817
  • Emirates to Dubai: R16,198
  • El Al to Tel Aviv: R6,279
  • Lufthansa to Munich: R10,030
  • Swiss International to Zurich: R8,660

Update: Foreign travel guaranteed only to and from other African countries, cruise ships not welcome


(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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