Air carriers Emirates and Air France have announced an immediate break from servicing routes from South Africa and its neighbours whose citizens have been caught in an abrupt travel ban by some world countries due to the new Covid-19 variant called Omicron recently detected in South Africa.
The ban affects countries, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
This triggered panic among travellers who were reportedly inundating the airlines with enquiries over the status of their booked flights in affected countries.
Said Emirates in a statement, “Affected customers do not need to call us immediately for rebooking. Customers can simply hold on to their Emirates ticket and when flights resume, get in touch with their travel agent or booking office to make new travel plans.
“Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused.”
Air France has also cancelled its flights from Johannesburg to Paris.
“Flights to and from SA are cancelled on Saturday November 27 and Sunday November 28,” the airline said.
“Air France is waiting for the conditions applicable from November 29, 2021.
“Air France teams at airports and customer relations centres are mobilised to assist customers wishing to modify or postpone their trips.”
Reports say the United States has joined several countries that acted on Friday to restrict travellers from southern Africa in an effort to slow the spread of a new coronavirus variant.