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Emirates to deploy A380 on flights to Johannesburg; to restore partnership with South African Airways

Emirates has announced that it will be expanding its operations to South Africa, boosting its schedule to 28 weekly flights by October.

A380 to make a comeback in Johannesburg

Emirates will operate Airbus A380 on one of the two daily flights between Dubai and Johannesburg from 31st October 2021 (presently, these flights are operated by a Boeing B777). In addition, the airline will operate 28 weekly flights to and from South Africa by October. The airline states that this is its largest weekly schedule to South Africa since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting 31st October 2021, Emirates will operate its flagship Airbus A380 on flight EK763 and EK764 between Dubai International Airport and Johannesburg’s O. R. Tambo International Airport. These flights will run with the following schedule:

  • Dubai-Johannesburg
  • Departure time: 10:10
  • Arrival time: 16:35
  • Flight time: 8 hours and 25 minutes
  • Flight number: EK763
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Johannesburg-Dubai
  • Departure time: 18:50
  • Arrival time: 05:05 (the next day)
  • Flight time: 8 hours and 15 minutes
  • Flight number: EK764
  • Frequency: Daily

Emirates’ A380 features 14 luxurious first class suites, 76 flat bed business class and 426 economy class seats.

The Dubai-based carrier states that the flight schedule expansion comes in response to a surge in customer demand to Dubai as tourist visas have opened up for all nationalities, in addition to the easing of restrictions across some destinations that now allow quarantine-free entry for South Africans.

What’s more? Starting 1st January 2022, Emirates will operate double daily A380 flights to Johannesburg. The schedule of the second daily A380 flight is:

  • Dubai-Johannesburg
  • Departure time: 04:40
  • Arrival time: 10:55
  • Flight time: 8 hours and 15 minutes
  • Flight number: EK761
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Johannesburg-Dubai
  • Departure time: 13:25
  • Arrival time: 23:45
  • Flight time: 8 hours and 20 minutes
  • Flight number: EK762
  • Frequency: Daily

Additionally, Emirates operates daily flights to Cape Town using the Boeing B777s. Starting 31st October 2021, the airline will once again operate flights between Dubai and Durban.

The flight schedule of Dubai-Cape Town-Dubai route is:

  • Dubai-Cape Town
  • Departure time: 03:55
  • Arrival time: 11:45
  • Flight time: 9 hours and 50 minutes
  • Flight number: EK772
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Cape Town-Dubai
  • Departure time: 18:25
  • Arrival time: 05:55 (the next day)
  • Flight time: 9 hours and 30 minutes
  • Flight number: EK771
  • Frequency: Daily

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The flight schedule of Dubai-Durban-Dubai route is:

  • Dubai-Durban
  • Departure time: 10:35
  • Arrival time: 17:05
  • Flight time: 8 hours and 30 minutes
  • Flight number: EK775
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Durban-Dubai
  • Departure time: 19:10
  • Arrival time: 05:30 (the next day)
  • Flight time: 8 hours and 20 minutes
  • Flight number: EK776
  • Frequency: Daily

South African travellers visiting Dubai must present a negative COVID‑19 RT-PCR test certificate with a QR code issued within 48 hours of the time the sample was collected at an approved local health facility. Travellers to Dubai must also present a Rapid RT-PCR test report with a QR code for a test conducted at the departure airport within six hours of departure. Passengers arriving in Dubai will be required to take another COVID‑19 PCR test on arrival at Dubai International airport.

Restores partnership with South African Airways

With South African Airways (SAA) resuming operations on 23rd September 2021, Emirates is set to revive its strategic partnership and cooperation with the country’s flag carrier. The Emirates-SAA partnership dates back to 1997, and is Emirates’ first ever codeshare agreement with another carrier. Prior to the pandemic, the partnership developed to include a complementary joint network of 110 destinations, optimised schedules offering greater connectivity for passengers , as well as baggage transfers and enhanced reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.

The carrier states that since the start of their strategic cooperation, close to 370,000 passengers have benefitted from the Emirates and SAA partnership. Additionally, Emirates says that plans are underway to expand the ability to book connecting flights on both carriers within one itinerary once again.

With the revival of the SAA partnership, Emirates is strengthening its footprint across South and southern Africa to four interline and codeshare partnerships, including Airlink, Cemair and FlySafair, boosting the airline’s route map with 79 additional codeshare and interline cities.

Meanwhile, Emirates recently launched a new account-based payment system called ‘Emirates Pay’. The airline has also reopened on its dedicated First Class lounge at Dubai International Airport and has launched an all-new airport service at Dubai International Airport to assist passengers more better. The carrier has launched flights to Miami, Florida making it the airline’s 12th destination in the United States. The airline has ramped up its operations across its network in response to pent-up demand. Emirates has resumed flights to Glasgow and has added a second Airbus A380 service to New York. Emirates Skywards has announced the launch of Skywards+ to offer its members access to exclusive rewards. Emirates, in the past month, has signed codeshare and interline agreements with two airlines. The airline has expanded partnership with South Africa’s Airlink, has announced an interline partnership with Mexico’s Aeromar, has signed a interline agreement with Cemair and has announced codeshare with Brazil’s Azul. Emirates will increase flights to Dublin to Daily in October 2021 and has revealed special A380 and B777 liveries to mark the UAE’s 50th anniversary. The carrier will resume flying to Newcastle in October. Emirates will take delivery of its final 3 Airbus A380s in November 2021.

Featured image by Emirates

What do you think of Emirates resuming Airbus A380 flights to Johannesburg and reviving the partnership with South African Airways? Let me know in the comments section below.

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