SAA to meet summer holiday demand

2012-07-23 09:14

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Johannesburg - South African Airways (SAA) has announced a number of additional flights, as well as additional capacity on popular summer holidays routes.

Effective 03 October 2012, SAA will offer non-stop daily flights between Johannesburg and Mumbai in India. The additional frequency comes hot on the heels of the fifth (5th) weekly frequency the airline launched on 16 June 2012 and the sixth (6th) due to start on 21 August 2012.

“The increase in frequencies echoes our commitment to the Indian market and means that SAA customers can catch a direct flight between Johannesburg and Mumbai any day of the week. This is also SAA’s response to market demand as over the last three years there has been a consistent growth in the market between southern Africa and India. South Africa’s entry into the BRICS alliance has also played a significant role leading to noticeable increase in investment activities between India and South Africa,” said Theunis Potgieter, SAA’s General Manager Commercial.   

This is good news for travellers looking for convenient and faster direct flights as SAA is currently the only carrier that offers non-stop services between South Africa and India.

The route is serviced with an A330-200 Airbus, one of SAA’s newest and most fuel efficient aircraft, with 36 business and 186 economy class seats.

“This announcement is part of SAA’s overall route optimisation which is in line with our strategy to ensure better, more frequent regional and long haul services on routes showing a growing demand for business and leisure travel to and from South and southern Africa. The strongest growth is currently being experienced on SAA routes to various destinations in Africa, Asia, Australasia, and Latin America. Passengers flying with SAA realise the convenient connectivity to 26 (soon to be 28) African destinations and to key cities in South America and Australasia offered through our hub, OR Tambo International Airport, in Johannesburg,” Potgieter explained.

Nairobi to get three additional flights, bringing the tally to ten

Effective 13 September 2012, SAA will add three (3) flights to its daily schedule which increases the service between Johannesburg and Nairobi in Kenya from seven (7) to ten (10) flights per week.

“Kenya is a key destination in our East Africa operation and by increasing capacity we are again rewarding our loyal customers with a variety of travelling options that they can tailor to match their travel needs. We will continue operating this route with a combination of the Boeing 738, offering 32 business and 125 economy seats, and the Airbus A319 with a capacity of 25 seats in business class and 95 in economy,” said Potgieter.

Additional flights ahead of the peak summer season

To meet demand, SAA will be adding capacity to its popular summer holidays routes. First in line will be Brazil with the current ten (10) flights weekly between Sao Paulo and Johannesburg increasing to eleven (11). This additional capacity will be added between 06 October 2012 and 13 March 2013; using a combination of the Airbus A323 and A343.

Further, during the summer holidays, a wide-body aircraft will be deployed to meet demand on the Johannesburg to Mauritius route, which has historically proved to be more popular during the said period.  

Between mid-December and mid-January; the same will happen on the Johannesburg to Cape Town route when a bigger aircraft will be deployed to cater for an increase in demand by holiday travelers.

“In addition to adjusting our schedules as per seasonal changes, we have also planned accordingly to ensure that we meet leisure travel demand that usually peaks during the summer holidays. Cape Town, Brazil and Mauritius have year after year showed consistent demand during these holidays. Our reservations system has been updated accordingly and we encourage travellers to make bookings early,” Potgieter concluded.

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