After almost 1.5 years, the relations between Australia and South Africa are improving day by day, and the direct flights between Australia and South Africa are finally started after 21 months.
On Tuesday afternoon, Qantas Airways flight QF63 will depart at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport. After more than 1.5 years, this is the first direct commercial passenger flight between Australia and South Africa.
According to reports, in September 2021, Qantas predicted that they would restart their flights from 2022; however, they did not mention the dates of which month they will start.
Travel restrictions were imposed due to COVID-19 in March 2020. Qantas grounded the majority of the international flights as Australia enforced the strict re-entry rule. Australia has the largest refugee community in South Africa, with 200,000 people.
This disconnection was very frustrating for those who arrived in South Africa from Australia. About 110,000 travellers came to South Africa from Australia before the pandemic, and 2 lakh South Africans live in Australia. Many were not connected with their families and friends.
Qantas hoped to start their flights between Sydney and Johannesburg in July 2021. However, the rise of COVID-19 waves and many other variants extended the break. Then they forward their dates to October, then December and more probably, they are planning to start their flights from April 2022.
There have been very few flights between Australia and South Africa since the pandemic started.
For the time being, Qantas offer three flights each week between Johannesburg and Sydney. These all flights will return flights. However, there are some restrictions from the side of Australian territories related to COVID-19 and self-isolation requirements.
If the traveller is travelling from South Africa and landing in Sydney, they have to be fully vaccinated with their report of negative COVID-19 test, so they do not need to take self-isolation.
However, South Africans travelling to the Maldives will not need Quarantine upon arrival, and it doesn’t matter whether they are vaccinated or not. However, Mauritius is not allowing South Africans by the end of January 2022.