Esplanade Travel has long been a partner of South African Airways and our travelers love the convenience of arriving directly into Johannesburg from JFK or Dulles airports. However, South African Airways faced a very economically challenging year in 2019 and we have seen the effect of this with uncharacteristically extensive flight delays and cancellations. 

SAA was left with no choice but to place themselves under voluntary business rescue in December which is essentially the same concept of Chapter 11 protection under U.S bankruptcy laws. This will allow the airline to restructure its debt, reduce costs and continue to operate on a regular basis. While this does leave uncertainties and challenges, South African Airways is committed to keeping its travel partners and valued customers informed regarding schedule changes and flight cancellations in order to keep operations running smoothly. The airline is confident that it will emerge stronger and financially healthier. 

If you’re flying on South African Airways, you can keep abreast of any changes or updates by periodically checking the airline’s news page at or by contacting your Travel Consultant at Esplanade. 

While South African Airways still offers those direct flights from JFK and Dullesthere are other options to consider that can also provide an excellent travel experience.  


  • Delta Airlines non-stop from Atlanta to Johannesburg  
  • United Airlines non-stop from Newark to Cape Town 
  • Air Emirates to Cape Town and Johannesburg via Dubai 
  • Qatar Airways from New York (JFK) to Cape Town and Johannesburg via Doha 
  • Many options via Europe, including: 
  • Lufthansa via Frankfurt  
  • Air France via Paris 
  • British Airways via London Heathrow 
  • KLM via Amsterdam 

Whether you want to fly direct from New York or Atlanta or prefer to connect in Europe or the Middle East, we can help weigh options and find the best routing for your trip. Don’t hesitate to contact Jill for help with flights to Africa. 

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