(IN SHORT) South African Airways (SAA) is marking a significant milestone in October as it launches its first intercontinental flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil, since its return to the skies two years ago. This development aligns with SAA’s strategy to re-establish itself as the nation’s proud flag bearer. The new Brazil route is expected to boost trade relations between the two countries, offering opportunities for export and import. SAA will operate wide-body aircraft capable of transporting palletized cargo, including time-sensitive goods such as pharmaceuticals and high-value cargo. SAA’s interim CEO, Prof John Lamola, highlights the airline’s progress since 2021, when it initially operated only three routes. Now, SAA serves 10 international destinations, three domestic routes, and one intercontinental route with a growing fleet of eight aircraft. By March 2024, the airline plans to expand further, offering more destinations with a fleet of 13 aircraft. This expansion is positive news for South Africa’s travel and tourism sector, expected to grow at an average rate of 7.6% annually. The inaugural flight to São Paulo took off from Cape Town on October 31, with Johannesburg flights set to commence on November 6, operating on select days to accommodate travelers and cargo movement. Lamola emphasizes the importance of a fully functional and efficient national airline in bolstering South Africa’s trade relations and future growth prospects, highlighting the airline’s role in the nation’s transport infrastructure and economic development.
(PRESS RELEASE) Johannesburg, South Africa, 2023-Nov-1 — /Travel PR News/ — October represents a watershed month for South African Airways. Not only is the airline launching its first intercontinental flight to Sao Paulo in Brazil since it took to the skies again two years ago, but it has also taken delivery of another two leased A320s to boost its domestic fleet.
With air travel playing a crucial role in connecting the country locally, regionally, and intercontinentally, the launch of new routes and the bolstering of the national airline’s fleet are critical to building relationships and providing access to intercontinental trade.
The Brazil route will facilitate numerous export and import opportunities and augment existing trade relations between the two countries. SAA will operate a wide body fleet with sufficient space to load palletised cargo and provide faster movement of goods, whether it is general cargo, pharmaceuticals, or high value cargo, boosting the movement of time-sensitive goods.
Reflecting on how far the airline has come over the past two years in its mission to re-entrench itself as the country’s proud national carrier and flag bearer, SAA interim CEO, Prof John Lamola, says when SAA took to the skies again in 2021, it had a solid strategy in place. “It has not been an easy journey, but the more than 9,000 commercial flights under our belts to date bear testimony to the success of our strategy.”
“The choice of Brazil as our first intercontinental route was informed not only by rigorous economic and market analysis, but also by considerations of the strategic linkages of South Africa in the context of the country’s membership of BRICS.”
When the airline commenced operations in 2021, it started off with a mere three routes. Now, it flies to 10 international destinations, 3 domestic and 1 intercontinental route. SAA has built its fleet to incorporate eight aircraft. By March 2024, it expects to fly more destinations with a fleet of 13 aircraft.
This is good news for the country’s travel and tourism sector, which is expected to grow at an average rate of 7.6% annually, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Economic Impact Report.
The inaugural flight to São Paulo took off on Tuesday, 31 October at 12:55pm from Cape Town while the first flight from Johannesburg will take place on Monday, 6 November. Cape Town will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with Johannesburg flights operating on Mondays and Thursdays.
Lamola says South Africa’s transport infrastructure has a significant impact on the growth of the economy and the efficiency of the country’s business transactions. “A fully functional and efficient national airline is critical for bolstering South Africa’s trade relations and opening up future growth prospects.”
About South Africa Airways
With almost 90 years in the skies, South African Airways (SAA) is the most awarded Skytrax airline in Africa and the proud carrier of the South African flag, linking domestic, regional, and international destinations. SAA flies from Johannesburg to Accra, Durban, Harare, Kinshasa, Lusaka, Lagos, Mauritius, Windhoek, Victoria Falls, Malawi and the airline flies to Soa Paulo from Cape Town and Johannesburg on 31 October 2023 and 6 November 2023, respectively.
Since first taking to the skies in 1934, SAA has grown to include a passenger airline, a cargo transport service, and related services provided through its wholly owned subsidiaries, SAA Technical (SAAT) and Air Chefs. SAAT delivers high-quality maintenance services, major airframe checks, engine overhauls, mechanical components, avionics, and line maintenance to SAA and third parties. Air Chefs provides in-flight, airline lounges and other catering services to the airline and third parties.
About SAA Voyager
SAA Voyager is a frequent flyer loyalty programme for SAA, which was launched in 1994 and offers its more than one-million members the opportunity to earn and spend Miles (the programmes reward currency) from 48 programme partners. SAA Voyager boasts more than 30 airline partnerships, including the Star Alliance global network, which gives members access to over 50 global hubs to offer smooth connections across a world-leading global network. SAA was the first African airline to join Star Alliance in 2006.
SAA prides itself on being “more than an airline” and a critical part of the South African story.
SAA social media:
- Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/FlySAA
- Twitter- https://twitter.com/flysaa
- Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/flysaa/
Source: South African Airways