Airline resumes direct flights to Australia

South African Airways has restarted its direct services between Johannesburg and Perth.

For the first time since the COVID-19 Pandemic, South African Airlines has resumed direct flights to Australia.

The airline will fly more than 80,000 passengers a year between Johannesburg and Perth with the first Airbus A340 flight arriving this week.

Flight Centre Corporate Global COO, Melissa Elf, said South Africa was an important economic contributor to Australia.

“We’ve seen an 8 per cent uplift in demand from our corporate travellers moving between Australia and South Africa in the first quarter of this year, compared to the first quarter of last year,” Ms Elf said.

“Almost half of that travel is related to the mining, oil, and gas sector.

“The rate of air capacity compared to before the pandemic has been among Australia’s lowest across all international routes, sitting at 37 per cent prior to these South African Airways flights recommencing.”

South African Airways Head of Communications, Vimla Maistry, said Australia was an important market for leisure and business.

“Australians are a valuable source of foreign direct spend in our economy, contributing to both direct and indirect South African employment through tourism,” Ms Maistry said.

“Additionally, mining is a significant economic driver of both economies.”

With airlines continuing to recommence flight routes or open up new ones, data from Flight Centre shows global and domestic air capacity reached pre-COVID-19 levels with international airfares out of Australia becoming cheaper.

Australia’s international capacity is currently at 95 per cent, reaching 98 per cent in May.

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