Qatar Airways had only recently announced that it was to resume flights to and from South Africa – but the airline has since made a U-turn
If you were planning a trip, travelling via Qatar Airways, then we’ve got some bad news for you: The airline has still put flights to and from South Africa and four other countries on ice.
There’s no official statement from the Qatari airline but many travelers who had book flights from South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, complained on Twitter, claiming their booked flights were now cancelled. According to Qatar Airways’ website, flights to these countries have been suspended until 31 December 2021.
BACKGROUND: QATAR AIRWAYS’ U-TURN ON SA FLIGHT BAN
The news of Qatar Airways’ decision to apparently keep flights to and from South Africa banned comes as a huge surprise – just two days before, the airline announced that it will resume both inbound and outbound services to Cape Town and Johannesburg from Sunday, 12 December 2021.
“It is particularly gratifying to once again be able to carry our South African customers to visit family and friends over the festive period or enjoy a well-earned break. We also know how important tourism is to South Africa and hope this will encourage more people to visit South Africa over the summer season,” Qatar Airways Vice-President, Africa, Hendrik du Preez said at the time.
The news was even welcomed by Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, who called on other countries and airlines to follow suit and lift their travel/flight bans on South Africa.
“We will continue to call on all countries to follow the WHO advice, to rescind all selective travel bans and re-open their borders to South Africa. We advocate global solidarity in the fight against the pandemic,” she said.
South Africa remains proudly committed to its excellence in science and will continue its vigilant fight against the pandemic.
“Indeed, South Africa is open for business and continues to be a safe destination of choice with diverse tourism products and experiences. The initial move to suspend flights to Southern Africa was in the wake of the emergence of the Omicron variant in the region. Dozens of countries also imposed travel restrictions on South Africa and its surrounding nation”Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu
By: Thabo Baloyi