Qantas Airlines resumes flights from Johannesburg on 6 January. Photo: Supplied

And just like that: Qantas Airlines returns to SA skies

Qantas Australian Airlines is set to resume scheduled flights between Johannesburg and Sydney on 6 January.


Qantas Airlines resumes flights from Johannesburg on 6 January. Photo: Supplied

While a number of countries and numerous international airlines still have border and flight bans in place against South Africa, Australia’s national carrier Qantas Airlines will head back to Johannesburg this week. This signals the end of almost two years without direct scheduled passenger flights between South Africa and Australia.


Travelnews states that the airline will restart scheduled flights between Sydney and Johannesburg on Thursday 6 January, after an extended period of nearly 20 months. The airline has however operated a number of repatriation flights out of Johannesburg during the lengthy flight ban.

Australia’s hard border closure has extended for well over 18 months. While not all states in Australia have reopened their borders yet, New South Wales reopened to international travellers in December last year.


Vaccinated visitors from select countries are now permitted to enter Australia (via Sydney) without having to quarantine on arrival. However, all travellers must comply with quarantine requirements listed for other parts of the country, before they are allowed to move from New South Wales to other states in Australia.

Australia has still not reopened its borders for discretionary travels from South Africa, though certain types of traveller from SA are now allowed to enter Australia through Sydney. New South Wales has reopened its borders to skilled migrants, international students, humanitarian, working holidaymakers and family visa holders.

Vaccinated Australians and permanent residents can now travel in and out of Australia. From 1 December 2021, Australia welcomed back fully vaccinated citizens from Japan and the Republic of Korea.

ALSO READ: Qantas to resume SA flights in January: Vaccinated travellers only


Under the current arrangements, travellers must:

  • Depart from their home country
  • Be fully vaccinated with a completed dosage of a vaccine approved or recognised by the TGA
  • Hold a valid Australian visa
  • Provide proof of their vaccination status
  • Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of departure.

Travellers to Australia must comply with the quarantine requirements in the state or territory of their arrival, and any other state or territory to which they plan to travel.