AviationThe Doha-based airline is the latest in a string of international carriers to ease restrictions on South African travellers.

Qatar Airways resumes flights to South Africa

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Qatar Airways now operates 21 weekly flights plying the Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg routes.
Qatar Airways now operates 21 weekly flights plying the Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg routes. Photo Credit: Facebook/Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is the latest to join a string of international carriers in resuming flights to South Africa, after the destination and other southern African nations first discovered the Omicron coronavirus variant in late November.

The Doha-based airline resumed services on 13 January, and now operates 21 weekly flights plying the Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg routes.

Together, the restart of routes from the region's three major international players — Emirates (based in Dubai), Etihad Airways (based in Abu Dhabi), and Qatar (based in Doha) — means South African travellers have access once more to destinations across North America, Europe and Asia.

Other international airlines that have resumed flights to South Africa include United Airlines (to Johannesburg), Turkish Airlines (South African passengers may only transit through Turkey), Air Mauritius, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines.

Qantas, which last flew the Sydney and Johannesburg route in March 2020, has also resumed thrice-weekly return flights since early January 2022.

South Africa reopened to travellers in November 2020, and remained this way since, imposing strict health and safety protocols — including mandatory mask wearing and a negative test from a PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival.

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