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More capacity on CPT-DUR route welcomed
Thursday, 27 February 2014
The travel trade will welcome a decision by SAA to reinstate flights between Cape Town and Durban this year.

IOL recently reported that the national carrier was seriously considering re-launching the route it scrapped more than three years ago. SAA says the route was initially dropped because it wasn’t profitable. 

However, SAA chairperson, Dudu Myeni, is quoted as saying the airline would most likely re-launch the Cape Town-Durban service as the airline made a mistake by closing the route entirely. “We probably should have looked at the frequencies. Maybe Monday, Thursday and Friday, instead of seven days a week,” she told IOL.

Jonathan Gerber, director of TAG, says: “I have always believed that this is part of the so-called golden triangle and was surprised when SAA pulled its flights. I believe that we need our national carrier on this route. We have many corporate agreements in place that would support this strategy and would welcome this new addition to the route network of SAA.” 

SAA’s decision to scrap the service saw Mango picking up some of the demand. The airline’s codeshare agreement with Mango on the route means its customers are accommodated on the low-cost carrier’s aircraft. 

According to Hein Kaiser, communication manager for Mango, the airline will not be affected if SAA reintroduces these flights. “It is a golden triangle route and demand has, although soft at times, sustained growth. The additional capacity should not impact Mango negatively as [SAA] seeks a different market segment to the one we service.”

He adds that Mango has grown and developed the route successfully over a period of time and there is “always room in the market for a new entrant, or reprise in this instance”.

With Voyager being the biggest loyalty programme in Africa, Jonathan says there is a lot of demand from travellers to book SAA. “Many corporates use this route extensively and naturally I think this would benefit them in terms of rand spend on SAA,” he adds.

SAA spokesperson, Tlali Tlali, says the reintroduction of the route will not take the airline long to put in place and that it could happen this year, reports IOL.

SAA had not responded to questions by eTNW at the time of publication.
By : etnw
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