Tag Archives:  South Africa

Qatar Airways is coming to Durban, South Africa

Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced a major expansion in South Africa with the launch of a new destination Durban while simultaneously increasing its weekly frequencies to Johannesburg. The airline will also increase its weekly frequency to Cape Town going up from five flights a week to a daily service.

Effective from December 17, 2015, the airline will launch four new weekly flights to Durban via Johannesburg bringing the total frequency to Johannesburg up from 10 weekly flights to a double-daily service.

From October 1, 2015, Qatar Airways will be operating daily flights to Cape Town ahead of the busy 2015/16 winter travel season, an increase from five weekly flights this winter.

Durban will be Qatar Airways’ third route to South Africa following Johannesburg and Cape Town, both of which started in January 2005. All three routes will be operated with its 254-seat Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner A7-BCK (msn 38329) arrives in Brussels.

Qatar Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Skywise Airline to launch scheduled flights on March 5

SkyWise 737 (15)(Flt)(SkyWise)(LR)

Skywise Airline (Johannesburg) is a new airline in South Africa. The new airline will launch scheduled low-fare passenger flights on March 5 between Johannesburg and Durban and Durban and Cape Town with Boeing 737s.

Skywise is independently owned. The company launched operations on February 11 with a charter flight.

All Images by Skywise.

Skywise logo (large)(LR)

South African Airways to resume nonstop Johannesburg-New York JFK flights

South African Airways-SAA (Johannesburg) will resume its daily nonstop flights between Johannesburg, South Africa, and New York-JFK International Airport, on March 7. The resumption of the nonstop service on the northbound flight from Johannesburg to New York-JFK will reduce the overall travel time on the route by nearly 90 minutes.

While SAA’s flight from New York-JFK to Johannesburg is operating daily on a nonstop year-round basis, the northbound flight has been temporarily making a one-hour refuelling stop in Dakar, Senegal, due in part to lower travel demand during the winter months. The nonstop flights in each direction are timed conveniently to connect in Johannesburg with SAA’s extensive route network in Southern Africa of over 55 destinations and in New York with flights to over 35 cities in the U.S. and Canada through our code share partners JetBlue Airways, United Airlines and Air Canada.

SAA’s flights between New York-JFK and Johannesburg are operated on Airbus A340-600 aircraft, featuring 42 full-flat 180-degree beds in Premium Business Class and 275 seats in Economy Class, ergonomically designed with adjustable headrests and industry-leading legroom of up to 34″ for long-haul travel. Customers traveling in both Premium Business Class and Economy Class enjoy an extensive menu of on-demand audio and visual entertainment options, freshly prepared meals and complimentary bar service featuring award-winning South African wines.

In other news, is the flag carrier technically bankrupt? According to the AFK Insider:

“The country’s state carrier, South African Airways (SAA), has been struggling to keep its fleet in the skies with a crippling debt of $1.5 billion and has had to receive a couple of state sponsored bailouts, including a recent 6.5 billion rands ($560 million) guarantee to keep liquidators off its back. This adds to a 5 billion rands guarantee already in place for the Treasury.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-642 ZS-SNF (msn 547) approaches the runway at the Johannesburg hub.

South African aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Acting CEO of South African Airways demands the company implement a 90-day turnaround plan

South African Airways (Johannesburg) continues to lose money and up until now has relied on state funding. However the SAA board recently appointed Mr. Nico Bezuidenhout as the new acting Chief Executive Officer of the struggling airline. Mr. Bezuidenhout has given the company a 90-day turnaround plan to turnaround the loss-making company by March according to EWN. The new CEO is warning the company is facing insolvency unless the plan is fully implemented. The airline has also reportedly reached out to Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) for a possible minority investment and guidance by the fast-growing Gulf carrier. Etihad has been investing in struggling carriers and helping to turn them around and also feed traffic to its Abu Dhabi hub.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, South African Airways announced on December 2 that it has commenced adding additional frequencies to its network which will substantially increase air services to some of its key African routes.

According to the airline, “The additional capacity injection answers the commercial mandate of the Long-Term Turnaround Strategy (LTTS), and is in response to positive market growth. As of yesterday, Harare (Zimbabwe) and Maputo (Mozambique), have included additional frequencies, with Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo), and Mauritius to follow.”

“The strengthening of these routes comes in the wake of positive load factors and increased traffic between the countries,” says SAA Acting Chief Executive Officer Nico Bezuidenhout. Presently, GDP growth in Mozambique (7% – African Development Bank) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (8.1%- African Development Bank) exceed World Bank growth statistics for the continent (4.7%-2013) while South Africa’s trade and demand for leisure and business travel to Mauritius is growing at a steady pace. “Air lift services traditionally lead GDP in all markets and also track the rate of increased leisure travel, investment and business engagement between South Africa and its continental peers.”

Effective December 1, SAA increased frequencies between Johannesburg and Maputo by 24% from 17 to 21 weekly frequencies, effective 1 December Johannesburg and Harare from 18 to 19 every week (6%), effective 4 December Johannesburg and Kinshasa from 6 to 7 a week (17%) and effective 4 December Johannesburg and Mauritius from 9 to 10 weekly frequencies (11% increase).

Finally, Air China and South African Airways (SAA) have announced the further strengthening of their bilateral cooperation within the Star Alliance as part of the strengthened cooperation between the two countries.

The key element in this strengthened relationship will be some network reconfiguration for both airlines to provide better passenger and cargo services between South Africa and China and countries adjacent to both.

Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. The company has already retired the Airbus A340-200s. The fuel-inefficient Airbus A340-300s are likely to be the next type to retired and replaced in any reorganization. Airbus A340-313 ZS-SXC (msn 590) taxies at New York’s JFK International Airport.

South African aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways to fly nonstop to Cape Town and Phuket

Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced that commencing on November 3, the airline will operate a new nonstop five-times-weekly service between Doha and Cape Town, South Africa.

Cape Town, which is currently served three-times-a-week via Johannesburg, is one of the airline’s most popular African destinations. Now, thanks to continuous growth of the airline’s fleet and increasing passenger demand to the South African city, the airline is offering nonstop services to Cape Town for the first time.

The route will be operated by Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft which features 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class, with the latest interactive inflight entertainment system featuring over 1000 options available in all cabin classes.

In other news, Qatar Airways introduced its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on the Vienna route on September 1, 2014.

Qatar Airways is the first airline to commence scheduled 787 Dreamliner service to Vienna.

Finally, Qatar Airways on October 26 is introducing Doha-Phuket nonstop flights, replacing a one stop service via Kuala Lumpur. Airbus A330-200 aircraft will operate daily on this new route.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 A7-BCK (msn 38329) prepares to land at London (Heathrow).

Qatar Airways Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

 

South African Airways to operate nonstop flights to New York (JFK) now starting on March 9

South African Airways (Johannesburg) has announced that it is resuming its nonstop flights between Johannesburg, South Africa, and New York – JFK International Airport.  The nonstop flight will resume on March 9, nearly three weeks ahead of its original schedule of March 28.

While SAA’s New York-Johannesburg flight has continued to operate on a nonstop daily basis, the return flight has been temporarily making a one hour refuelling stop in Dakar, Senegal, due in part to lower travel demand during the winter months. The nonstop flight will be timed to arrive in New York in the early morning, allowing customers to quickly connect on flights to points throughout North America.

The nonstop flight schedule is as follows (all times are local):

Flight SA 203 departs Johannesburg at 8:25 pm (2025), arrives New York JFK at 6:40 am (0640) the next day Flight SA 204departs New York JFK at 11:15 am (1115), arrives Johannesburg at 8:00 am (0800) the next day.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. South African Airways’ Airbus A340-642 ZS-SNH (msn 626) departs from the Johannesburg hub.

South African Airways: AG Slide Show