Emirates has been given permission to operate an extra four flights a week between Dubai and Johannesburg starting on June 3.
The Dubai-based airline has also been allowed to launch a new daily service to Cape Town. Flights to Johannesburg will be operated by B777-300s. These will depart from Dubai and return from Johannesburg every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Flight EK765 is set to leave Dubai at 1440 arriving in Johannesburg at 2050. It will return as EK766 at 2230 to reach Dubai the next morning at 0830.
The timings provide good connections for passengers travelling to or from Asia and Australia. There may also be some connecting possibilities from Europe. For example, flight EK766 from Johannesburg connects in Dubai for flight EK029 at 0950 for London Heathrow.
The extra seats will be welcome. Emirates currently code-shares with South African Airways on this route. It operates two flights a day and it can fill every seat.
Over the past year a couple of readers have complained to Business Traveller about being overbooked on flights departing Johannesburg which is not an attractive prospect seeing as South Africa has no rule which obliges airlines to pay DBC (denied boarding compensation) to 'bumped' passengers.
Emirates' Cape Town service will start at a date yet to be finalised. This city is currently underserved from the Gulf with Qatar Airways the only other regional airline serving this city.
For more information go to emirates.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter