The Dubai-based airline, Emirates says it has, since the easing of the Covid-19 travel restrictions, seen a dramatic increase in the demand for flights to and from South Africa.

Before the pandemic, the airline had 49 weekly flights to and from SA.

Emirates Regional Manager for Southern Africa, Afzal Parambil says, over the past few weeks, the airline managed to reinstate 26 flights to South Africa.

Parambil says they are struggling to keep up with demand.

The airline will also boost its cooperation with SA Airlink to offer visitors access to more South African destinations, from June this year.

Parambil says the airline says it has managed to reinstate almost 70% of its flights to South Africa already.

He says the airline anticipates having 80% of flight capacity on offer by the middle of 2022.

Find the latest flight updates from Emirates here.

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KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has announced that it has increased the number of flights between Cape Town and Amsterdam.

Travelers can now make use of any of the 6 weekly flights between the two cities while daily flights to and from Cape Town will be instituted from July this year.

Spokesperson Lee-Roy Wright says fully vaccinated travelers from South Africa are now allowed to enter The Netherlands with no quarantine restrictions or Covid-19 test requirements.

Get more information here.

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Direct United flights between Cape Town and New York resumed on Thursday 02 December. The route was suspended a few months after its launch in March 2020 due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The maiden flight was on 16 December 2019 but for the past 20 months flights had been suspended.  With flights resuming Mayor Geordin Hill Lewis said: “This is a special occasion – a day where we can welcome back United Airlines flights from New York to Cape Town. It was heartwarming to see a plane full of excited American tourists ready to explore and enjoy Cape Town, after a 20-month hiatus in flights. This is why it gives me great pleasure to say that today, we are “United”

This is a glimmer of hope as travel bans start to take their toll, a week after South Africa announced the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, Alderman James Vos, said that while the travel bans are disappointing, the City with its partners would continue to work hard to reverse these restrictions. The aim is to see the return of international airlines and all its travellers who were so keen to visit Cape Town this festive season.

Vos said: “A few weeks ago, we launched a destination marketing campaign in New York and other major cities showing the diversity of experiences and the beauty that Cape Town offers. This route between North America and Cape Town opens travel and trade opportunities that stand to be of significant benefit to our economy.”

Hill-Lewis added: “As the Mayor of this beautiful city, I have said that we will focus all our work on growing the economy and making Cape Town the easiest place to do business in Africa. I look forward to seeing this route flourish and connect more people to each other, and help grow a stronger, resilient relationship between our two cities.”