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Emirates suspends South Africa flights

Dubai-based Emirates will no longer be flying to South Africa.

Emirates has temporarily suspended all flights to and from South Africa from Saturday, January 16. The carrier has blamed the move on operational reasons.

South Africa identified a new and potentially more contagious variant of Covid-19 late last year and a raft of countries has cancelled flights in and out of the country as a result.

South Africa has witnessed a major rise in daily infections and deaths over the last month. Current cases stand at 1.3 million with more than 35,000 deaths.

The United Kingdom has banned all flights from South Africa and surrounding southern African nations, including Mauritius and Seychelles. Several other European and Asian countries and territories, including Hong Kong, have also banned South African flights.

“Emirates flights to/from South Africa will temporarily be suspended from Saturday January 16 to January 28 due to operational reasons,” Emirates said in a statement.

The Dubai-based carrier is also on a temporary ban from flying travellers into Hong Kong after an incoming passenger was found to be in breach of Hong Kong arrivals regulations. Flights are due to resume with the Asian city on January 22.

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