Emirates to temporarily suspend flights to South Africa

Emirates to temporarily suspend flights to South Africa
Emirates planes are seen on the tarmac in a general view of Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, January 13, 2021. (Reuters)
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Updated 14 January 2021

Emirates to temporarily suspend flights to South Africa

Emirates to temporarily suspend flights to South Africa
  • Emirates statement: Flights to/from South Africa will temporarily be suspended from Saturday 16 to 28 Jan. 2021 due to operational reasons
  • Inbound travel to South Africa has dropped since mid December when the country identified a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus

JOHANNESBURG: Dubai-based airline Emirates said on Thursday it would temporarily suspend all flights to and from South Africa from Saturday due to operational reasons, without elaborating.
“Emirates flights to/from South Africa will temporarily be suspended from Saturday 16 January to 28 January 2021 due to operational reasons,” the largest carrier in the United Arab Emirates said in a statement.
Inbound travel to South Africa for leisure and business has dropped since mid December when the country identified a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus, forcing countries such as England, Germany, Switzerland and several in Asia to cancel flights to and from the country.
The new variant is said to be behind a major spike in daily infections and rising deaths for the last month, with total cases currently standing at close to 1.3 million and over 35,000 deaths.
“Customers holding tickets with final destinations in South Africa from 16 January to 28 January will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin,” Emirates said.
Its local partner in South Africa — Airlink, which sells airline seats provided by Emirates for local destinations, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.


Saudi Arabia tops 2020 list of UAE export markets

Saudi Arabia tops 2020 list of UAE export markets
Updated 13 min 10 sec ago

Saudi Arabia tops 2020 list of UAE export markets

Saudi Arabia tops 2020 list of UAE export markets
  • Emirates exported to 230 countries in 2020, up from 200 in 2019

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia was the UAE’s top export market last year, with exports and re-exports from the emirates to the Kingdom amounting to 73.58 billion UAE dirhams ($20.04 billion) during the first nine months of 2020.

The latest figures from the UAE’s Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre reported that the Emirates exported to 230 countries in 2020, up from 200 in 2019.

While Saudi Arabia took the top spot as the biggest export destination for the UAE, second was Iraq with 36.5 billion dirhams followed by Switzerland (33.47 billion), India (24.78 billion), Oman (24 billion), China (22 billion), Hong Kong (20.4 billion), Kuwait (16.1 billion), the US (13.1 billion) and Italy (12.75 billion).

In total, the UAE earned 460 billion dirhams from foreign trade in the first nine months of 2020, despite the slowdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.