The tourism and business sectors in KwaZulu-Natal have welcomed the resumption of South African Airways (SAA) and Qatar Airways flights from Durban’s King Shaka International Airport.
This after SAA announced that its first scheduled flight will take off from OR Tambo International to King Shaka International from March 4, 2022. This will be the first time in almost two years since the airlines exited the route.
The MEC of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal, Ravi Pillay, says air transport is key to advancing economic growth in the province.
“We welcome the reinstatement of the Durban – Johannesburg route by the South African Airways. This is a major route, essential to economic growth generally and the tourism sector in particular. We have been working very hard to rebuilt confidence, and we expect many more announcements of this nature.”
“This of course follows hot in the heels of Qatar Airways announcing their reinstatement of flights direct from Doha to Durban and vice versa and we welcome this,” adds Pillay.
In November 2021, SAA Interim Chief Executive Officer Thomas Kgokolo said the airline had increased the number of passengers on both its domestic and regional routes since resuming flights in September.
Kgokolo said the Johannesburg-Cape Town route has achieved an average seating of 75% passenger load factor.
The airline’s regional routes were also showing signs of increased passenger numbers.
The airline had recently added Lagos to its African routes.
Kgokolo was speaking on the sidelines of the SA-Kenya business forum in Pretoria.
[2021 video] SAA adds regional routes, flying to Zimbabwe and Zambia: