In massive news, South African Airways will recommence direct Perth-Johannesburg flights on 28 April 2024, offering Australia’s second nonstop service to South Africa with visiting friends and relatives (VFR) 80 per cent of its target market for both countries.
The major announcement marks South African Airways’ second international route resumption outside Africa and the Indian Ocean (Mauritius).
It follows the reopening of its Johannesburg/Cape Town to Sao Paulo route on 31 October 2023 with Aussie travellers now also able to fly from Perth to Sao Paulo via Jo’burg.
For the launch phase of the Perth route, SAA will operate an Airbus A340-300 with a total seat capacity of 253 (38 business class seats and 215 economy seats). The thrice-weekly service will depart Perth on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
More network expansion in 2024
South African Airways CEO Professor John Lamola said Perth route resumption aligns with strategic plans to scale operations to a profitable level and provide South Africa with long-haul intercontinental air connectivity using its wide-body aircraft.
“Besides the global interconnectivity potential of this route, Perth has long been a favoured destination for South African and Australian travellers with approximately 80 per cent of our target market being visiting family and friends,” Pr Lamola said.
“The recommencement of the route provides an easier and more direct passage for both leisure and business travellers between South Africa and Australia.
“We are committed to growing SAA into a revered leader in the global aviation sector. Perth is but one indicator of this ambition and gives us confidence that our vision of expanding our footprint to over 20 destinations this year will be realised,” he added.
South Africa’s national carrier resumed operations in September 2021, initially on routes within Africa.
Qantas paused its direct Perth-Johannesburg flights indefinitely in March 2023 after an initial run and biosecurity concerns in November 2022.
For more info, head to flysaa.com
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