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
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
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.