PMB Airport welcomes first SA Express flight

2013-11-02 00:00

YESTERDAY saw the first flight into Pietermaritzburg Airport of SA Express, the second airline to use the facility.

The airline will use turbo prop Dash 8 Q400 aircraft, which are described as fuel efficient and more eco-friendly, for its morning and afternoon flights between Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg.

Msunduzi’s deputy municipal manager for economic development Dr Ray Ngcobo said the city was growing “at an alarming rate” with all the features of a fully functional metro.

“This fact, coupled with the capital city status has significantly made the city more globally competitive and attractive to economic activity of various types,” said Ngcobo, after they welcomed the new 74-seater flight, which arrived at 7.20 am, 10 minutes early. He said the city had seen a significant increase in business travel, especially government-related business, as well as events tourism.

“This has created serious demand for easy airlift, as most people would fly down to the city from Gauteng for business purposes or for engaging with the provincial administration,” said Ngcobo. He said the city’s economic development strategy identified the airport precinct as a strategic area for investment, to keep up with the growth of global business in the city.

SA Express CEO Inati Ntshanga said this was their third route operating in KZN, because they were already flying into King Shaka and Richards Bay. “We are here to stay and we hope that this project outlives most of us here,” he said.

Ntshanga said this was part of their strategy to connect small cities like Pietermaritzburg to bigger metropolises like Johannesburg.

DA caucus leader Bill Lambert said this was positive development for the city.

SA Express airfares

Jo’burg to PMB: highest base fare is R1 100 — with taxes: R1 862. The lowest base fare is R300 — with taxes: R950

PMB to Jo’burg: highest base fare is R1 100 — with taxes: R1 795. The lowest base fare is R300 — with taxes: R883.

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