News & Industry Affairs / Southern Africa

/ 2020 

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/ 2020 news

  L  SAA to operate emergency evacuation flights 
March 29, 2020. Sabelo Skiti and Thando Maeko, Mail & Guardian.

State airline SAA will from this week temporarily resume international operations to evacuate foreigners from various countries who are stuck in South Africa after the lockdown commenced last Friday.
  The Mail & Guardian has reliably learnt the airline is in discussions with several countries about the possibility of operating special commercial charters for tourists, students, workers, and other non-South Africans who could not secure space on flights out of the country when South Africa went on national lockdown last Friday. Read the original article...

  L  Covid-19: Economic impact on East and southern Africa 
March 27, 2020. Nina Callaghan and Mark Swilling, Daily Maverick.

The rate and global spread of infections by Covid-19 – and the related sense of panic across a globalised financial, political and social architecture – sets this particular pandemic apart from any other in modern times.  Quarantine and social distancing measures, travel bans and restrictions, closed regional and national borders, and health communications have been ratcheted up globally to reduce the chance of exposure as Covid-19 infections and fatalities continue to rise. Read the original article...

  L  #LETSGROWTOURISM: ‘Ambitious growth target still possible’ 
March 6, 2020. Boitumelo Masihleho, Southern & East African Tourism.

Inbound tourism started the year on the back foot after a tumultuous year last year, and now there is the rapid global spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), but the ambitious target of 21 million tourists coming to South Africa by 2030 is still achievable.  
   This is according Senior Consultant Tourism Specialist Unit at market analyst BDO, Jabulani Debedu, who acknowledged the challenges but expressed hope there was room for growth. Read the original article...

  L  New Virgin Seasonal Flights London/Cape Town in line with airport strategy 
March 4, 2020. Sizwe Dlamini, Business Report.

Virgin Atlantic has announced the reintroduction of its seasonal service, adding over 80,000 seats between Cape Town and London, commencing 25 October 2020. 
Virgin Atlantic announced in early February that it would be reintroducing its seasonal service and adding over 80,000 seats in flights between Cape Town and London during the high season. The new flight will commence from 25 October 2020 and run throughout November, December, and into January. An official concluding date for the service has yet to be revealed to the public. Read the original article...

  L  It’s time to take tourism seriously 
March 1, 2020. Paul Bannister, Daily Maverick

Within the apparent ‘darkness’ that is the South African economy today, there is one glimmer of light which, if the barriers to its growth were addressed and removed could provide the vital spark to the regeneration of the South African economy and could do so on a sustainable basis. 
Tourism is a sector in which South Africa is intrinsically extremely well placed with a wealth of natural attractions, excellent weather and a reasonable tourism infrastructure...Read the original article...

/ 2020 news

  L  #LETSGROWTOURISM: Business analyst projects growth for tourism 
February 18, 2020. Boitumelo Masihleho, Southern & East African Tourism.

The number of tourists to South Africa are projected to reach an impressive 19.6 million by 2023, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).  
    Therefore, tourism has been identified as one of three sectors that could offer growth for business owners in the country this year, according to Executive General Manager of Impact Investments at Business Partners Limited, David Morobe. Read the original article...

  L  British Airways boosts Cape Town frequencies rolls out a £6.5 billion investment plan 
February 13, 2020. Sizwe Dlamini, Business Report.

British Airways (BA) is increasing its services between London and Cape Town by two flights a week from January next year, the airline announced on Thursday.  
    BA said the additional services would operate from Gatwick using Boeing 777-200 aircraft in a three-cabin configuration with 32 seats in Club World, 52 in World Traveller Plus and 252 in World Traveller. Read the original article...

  L  Goodbye traditional check-in counter! Off-site ‘bag drop’ service now available for OR Tambo 
February 13, 2020.

A new concept globally and the first of its kind in South Africa, BagPortr is a 'baggage butler' type service that will collect the passenger’s bag from their home, hotel or any preferred point of collection (initially only within Johannesburg) within the terms of the service, before their flight. The luggage will then be delivered to OR Tambo International for loading.  
    But is there a need for this type of service? Read the original article...

  L  Virgin Atlantic has added seasonal flights that could give the Western Cape a R73m monthly boost 
February 12, 2020. Carin Smith,

A new direct seasonal service by Virgin Atlantic Airways (VS) between Cape Town and London has the potential to add R73 million per month to the Western Cape economy in terms of direct tourism spending.  
    This is according to Wesgro (the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape).  
    Wesgro announced on Wednesday that there will be a daily direct seasonal service between London Heathrow and Cape Town with VS, starting from October 2020 onwards.. Read the original article...

  L  Flywestair increases flight frequencies on both local and regional routes 
January 27, 2020. Namibia Economist.

Private airline, Westair Aviation, last week announced the addition of two-weekday flights to the current routes serviced by its commercial airline, FlyWestair.
  Starting on 17 February, FlyWestair will increase the number of weekly flights to Ondangwa, Oranjemund and Cape Town with two-weekday flights per week, the airline said in a statement:  “This will increase the airline’s flight frequency to these key destinations from 30 to 46 flights per week,” the statement said. Read the original article...

  L  What does it take for an airline to break even on a flight? Well, it's complex. 
January 24, 2020. Selene Brophy, Traveller24

The state is struggling to raise the necessary guarantees for a R2bn loan from banks – which South African Airways sorely needs to stay afloat. 
    The R2bn was due this past Sunday, 19 January. SAA’s business rescue practitioners then opted on Tuesday, 21 January to consolidate some of SAA's domestic and international flights schedule due to low demand, as a means to conserve funds. Read the original article...

  L  South African aviation sector scores well in punctuality ranking 
January 24, 2020. Rebecca Campbell, Engineering News.

South African Airways (SAA) and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), Two State-owned aviation sector companies were recently and separately ranked highly in terms of on-time performance (OTP) in international surveys for last year. Read the original article...

  L  #LETSGROWTOURISM: SA could attract more of the six million Spanish tourists 
January 24, 2020. Adele Mackenzie, Southern & East African Tourism.

An agreement between massive Spanish business organisation (CEOE) and South African Tourism has been signed to host a tourism roadshow in Spain later this year in an effort to grow tourism and increase Spanish investment in tourism infrastructure in South Africa.  Read the original article...

  L  Tourist arrivals in Namibia increased by 3,9% in 2018 
January 21, 2020. Namibian Broadcasting Corporation.

Tourist arrivals in Namibia increased by 3,9% in 2018, compared to a growth of 2,1% in 2017.
    This is contained in the 2018 Tourism Statistical Report, which was launched in Windhoek. Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta says the statistics show that Namibia is a better tourism destination now than in years passed. Read the original article...

 L  Angola relaxes visa requirements, allows people to conduct business under a tourist visa 
January 15, 2020. Marisa Crous, Traveller24.

The Angolan government has been introducing several initiatives to encourage investment and business opportunities in the oil rich country.
    Visa requirements for countries like Botswana, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Zimbabwe and notably Singapore have been relaxed. Citizens from Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, the Cape Verde, Rwanda and Zambia can enter Angola without having to apply for a business or tourist visa. Read the original article...

  L  DATA SPOTLIGHT: Mozambique 
January 15, 2020. The Blue Swan Daily.

Mozambique is best known for its long Indian Ocean coastline dotted with popular beaches and offshore marine parks. But last year, analysis of OAG schedule data by The Blue Swan Daily highlights it as seeing the biggest y-o-y gain in departure capacity among the world’s top 125 country markets. Total departure seats grew more than a third (+34.1%) from 1.46 million in 2018 to 1.96 million in 2019...Read the original article...

  L  Low-cost carrier addresses festive season delays 
January 14, 2020. Bruno De Lathauwer, Southern & East African Tourism.

SA low-cost airline,, has committed to improving its customer service following numerous delays to its peak season flights in December and early January. Read the original article...

/ 2019 news

  L  Focus shifts to reduction of aviation taxes to boost Cape Town tourism 
December 31, 2020. Marvin Charles, Cape Argus.

Cape Town. The City is determined to stimulate tourism growth and has shifted its focus to airlines. 
    Mayco member for economic opportunities and assets management James Vos wants the Department of Tourism to establish a strategic aviation committee to investigate how aviation taxes could be reduced in order to stimulate tourism. Read the original article...

  L  New United Airlines direct flight to Cape Town a 'game changer' for local economy - CEO 
December 17, 2020. Carin Smith, Fin24.

In its current four-month seasonal format, United Airlines' new direct flight between Cape Town and New York/Newark has the potential to bring additional tourism spend of R153m for the Mother City by 2021. 
    This is according to Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management within the City of Cape Town, who was one of several dignitaries welcoming the inaugural flight at Cape Town International Airport...Read the original article...

  L  It's finally official! Here is the full travel advisory for travelling with minors to South Africa 
November 11, 2019. Selene Brophy, Traveller24. 

International minors travelling to SA no longer require Unabridged Birth Certificates or consent letters when travelling with their parents.
    The Unabridged Birth Certificate waiver has been welcomed and is expected to boost tourism, after negatively impacting international visitors accessibility to SA for a number of years. Read the original article... 

  L  Lufthansa expands long-haul network: connection from Windhoek to Frankfurt 
November 4, 2019. 

The Lufthansa Group has expanded its long-haul network, now connecting Namibia's capital with its largest hub in Frankfurt, in cooperation with Eurowings. The new connection is offered three times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays departing at 9.30am from Windhoek and arriving at 7.05pm in Frankfurt (local time). Read the original article...   

  L  SAA takes delivery of 1st of 4 Airbus A350-900s 
November 4, 2019. African Aerospace news. 

South African Airways (SAA) has taken delivery of the first of four new Airbus A350-900s. 
    “We welcome the first A350 home on South African soil. The introduction of the A350s offers a new beginning for the airline...” said Zuks Ramasia, SAA’s Acting CEO. Read the original article...

  L  SAA welcomes new Airbus for Jozi-New York route 
October 31, 2019. The Citizen. 

The A350 is the latest Airbus twin-engine long-haul jet and promises savings of at least 20% on SAA’s fuel bill on the Joburg – New York route. Read the original article...

  L  New SA Express route to the Eastern Cape 
October 24, 2019. 

Travellers now have more options to fly to the Eastern Cape with new routes announced by SA Express on Thursday. The new routes (effective 15 November 2019) will commence between Cape Town and East London (4 frequencies a week), East London and Mthatha, and Mthatha and Cape Town (3 frequencies a week). Read the original article...

  L  Air Namibia ups frequencies to SA
July 25, 2019. Tourism Update. 

Air Namibia is to up flight frequencies that were withdrawn in June, after the airline suspended operations to Luanda and reduced frequencies on some flights between Windhoek and Cape Town and Johannesburg.
    Twaku Kayofa, Corporate Communications – External Relations & Public Relations, said, from August 10, Air Namibia’s Airbus A319, which was undergoing scheduled maintenance checks, would return to service.
    The airline will then re-introduce some of the flight frequencies that were withdrawn due to the reduced number of aircraft in the fleet. Read the original article...

  L  British Airways ups its SA premium flight frequency with 34 additional flights a week 
July 23, 2019. 

This week, British Airways has been in the news after announcing its cancelled service to Egypt.
    On the upside, passengers can look forward to a broader offering from BA via its Comair domestic operations in South Africa - with the announcement that it will be increasing its premium flight frequencies on certain routes. BA will add 34 additional flights on its SA route network commencing mid-September 2019, available to book with immediate effect. Read the original article...

  L  Mango and LH increase connections
July 15, 2019. Tourism Update. 

Lufthansa and Mango Airlines have signed a new partnership, allowing for easier connections between the two airlines. Read the original article...

  L  Cape Town Air Access aims to grow US, West Africa and South America direct route connectivity
March 14, 2019. Selene Brophy, Traveller24. 

The Cape Town Air Access (CTAA) project, aimed at improving connectivity to the Mother City, will be looking to develop three core hubs for future connectivity - these specifically being to the West Africa, US, and South America specifically. 
    Forming the focal point for proactive international air route development in Cape Town and the Western Cape, the initiative has already launched 13 new routes and facilitated 19 route expansions since their inception in 2015. This has doubled seat capacity at Cape Town International Airport, adding 1.5 million two-way seats to the Cape Town network, contributing and estimated R6 billion in direct tourism spend since July 2015. Read the original article here...