Premier seeks answers for SAA dropping Durban-Cape Town flights

2012-02-22 00:00

IF there’s one thing that has clearly upset KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize, it’s the decision by the national carrier to stop flights between Durban and Cape Town.

More than a year later the provincial government was still trying to decipher the rationale behind the termination of this SAA route, he said during his state of the province address.

To add insult to injury the decision had been taken without “the courtesy of prior information to the provincial government”.

To loud applause, Mkhize said: “Nobody has explained to us why it is profitable for other airlines, but not for SAA.”

Referring to Emirates’ Durban-Dubai route, he said it had proven to be sustainable and bigger aircraft would now be used on the route from June this year.

“We know our province and its tourism products are irresistible to tourists.

“We need more direct flights to Durban — the time for bypassing KZN is long gone. We shall not be ignored.”

He said the province continued to show good growth in its tourism market.

The SA-Swaziland-Mozambique partnership in tourism was was bearing fruit.

Research had shown that the largest percentage of tourists to South Africa were from Africa.

He and his cabinet would therefore lead a high-profile campaign to promote KZN as a destination of choice for tourists from African states. In case there was any doubt, Mkhize added: “Tourism is the gold mine of KwaZulu-Natal”.

— Witness Reporter.

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