A month after cancelling services to South Africa due to a Dutch government ban on flights from the country, KLM has confirmed that it will resume services to South Africa, with restrictions, on February 23.
KL592 will fly from Johannesburg to Amsterdam daily, departing at 23h55 and arriving in Amsterdam at 10h05 the next day. KL591 will depart from Amsterdam at 10h15, arriving in Johannesburg at 22h05.
Cape Town will also come back on stream. KL598 will fly between Cape Town and Amsterdam three times a week on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays, departing Cape Town at 23h20 and arriving in Amsterdam at 09h55 the next day. KL597 departs from Amsterdam on the same days, leaving at 10h10 and arriving in Cape Town at 22h30.
However, Travel News understands that KLM will only be able to accept Dutch nationals, Schengen State and other EU residents, Dutch Antilles residents, medical staff, seafarers and airline crew on the flights at this stage. These restrictions will apply, regardless of the passengers’ final destination, says the airline.
KLM says there have been no changes to entry requirements for the Netherlands. For nationals permitted to travel on the flights a negative PCR test, taken 72 hours prior to arrival/transit in the Netherlands; an antigen test, taken no less than four hours before boarding; a completed health declaration; and the 10-day isolation period on arrival in the Netherlands are still required.
“I can confirm that we have received confirmation from KLM that, at this stage, the Dutch government is allowing KLM to accept EU residents only,” said GM of Travel Counsellors South Africa, Mladen Lukic, who was nevertheless positive about the announcement.
“We are hopeful that the Dutch government will soon remove the travel ban for SA nationals,” he added.
“You can’t even begin to build demand if there isn’t access to the market, and that starts with the airline. There might be limitations and restrictions, but the underlying point is that travel has the potential to start moving again,” said CEO of Asata, Otto de Vries.
“The news of KLM resuming services to South Africa, Qatar increasing its frequencies to South Africa and TAP announcing the introduction of a service to Cape Town, are all sending out a positive message that South Africa is opening up again and we should be encouraged by this,” he added.
Source: Travel News