Emirates Ups Partnership With Cemair While Increasing Ticket Flexibility

Emirates has signed an interline agreement with South African carrier Cemair to boost its presence in the country. The Dubai-based carrier will now be able to connect passengers to six domestic destinations, including some exclusively flown by Cemair. Let’s find out more about Emirates’ fourth partnership in the country.

Emirates, Airbus A380, London
The new agreement comes weeks after Emirates returned to South Africa and boosted flights. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

New partner

In a statement this week, Emirates announced its latest partner in South Africa – Cemair. The regional aircraft operator will give the Dubai-based giant the chance to enter smaller destinations in the country, allowing passengers to book single itineraries for flights around the globe.

The interline agreement allows connection from Emirates’ busiest hubs of Johannesburg and Cape Town to Bloemfontein, Durban, Kimberley, Margate, Hoedspruit, Plettenberg Bay, George, and Sishen. Passengers will now be able to book flights directly to and from these destinations, allowing for seamless baggage transfer on arrival.

Cemair CRJ
Cemair operates a mixed fleet of turboprops and regional jets for its operations. Photo: Emirates

In a statement about the agreement, Emirates CCO Adnan Kazim said,

“We are proud to partner with Cemair and commence our interline agreement. The new Cemair links provide our customers with even more possibilities to travel smoothly across many of South Africa’s most popular leisure points, in addition to the added benefit of connectivity to Cemair’s exclusively served points Margate and Plettenberg Bay.”


After much of 2021 passing with skeleton Emirates services to South Africa, the carrier is finally back in full swing. With restrictions eased, the carrier is now flying 14 weekly services, with 11 to Johannesburg (including four onward to Durban) and three to Cape Town. Come September, this schedule will grow further, with double daily services to Johannesburg and five a week to Cape Town.

Supporting Emirates’ network in South Africa is a series of interline and codeshare agreements. Just a week ago, the airline announced a partnership with Airlink, a major domestic carrier. The Airlink partnership opened up 40 new destinations across SA and the region. The rapid expansion signals that Emirates is looking to become a dominant player in the country and fill in for the missing South African Airways.

Emirates Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-EQE
Emirates will fly 19 weekly flights to South Africa from September and passengers will have dozens of more domestic connections to choose from. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Last November, Emirates inked a deal with FlySafair, helping the airline rebuild its presence with SAA grounded. Emirates long had an agreement with South African, which has been suspended since last year due to the carrier’s grounding. However, this has not stopped the carrier from pursuing as many passengers as possible.

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Lots more

While restrictions from South Africa persist due to dangerous COVID variants, an easing has begun. As more countries open their borders in the coming months and years, Emirates will have a major advantage. With connecting flights to every major airport, the ease of one-itinerary bookings can be huge. For now, keep an eye out for Emirates’ growing business in South Africa.

What do you think about Emirates’ newest agreement in South Africa? Let us know in the comments!