- BA to fly LHR T5 to Durban 3w from October 29
- Increased connectivity to Durban
British Airways much speculated direct route from Heathrow Terminal 5 to Durban will commence 3w on October 29. BA says economy fares will start at £599.
Tourism minister Sihle Zikalala confirmed the route at Indaba 2018 in Durban, sat breakfast event attended by key Irish travel trade and media. Desire an official press release announcing the start date as October 29,
The route adds to the connection options for Irish travel clients with Emirates, Qatar and Turkish Airlines, who already fly to Durban from Dubai, Doha and Istanbul.
The southbound departure will be overnight, with a daytime flight northbound. The timings are designed for Europeans who prefer not to connect at Johannesburg. Flight numbers will be BA41 from Heathrow to Durban and BA40 from Durban to Heathrow.
BA previously operated to Durban via Johannesburg from 1981 until 1999. The airline will operate a Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” for the start-up stage. Other BA African services that have been terminated included Harare, Lusaka, Lilongwe and Gaborone.
KwaZulu-Natal Tourism minister Sihle Zikalala said BA’s decision will allow KwaZulu-Natal to showcase itself as a tourism and business destination to a global audience. The route is a huge leap forward for the tourism sector, propelling foreign direct investment, improving business connectivity and ensuring the economic empowerment of South Africans.The sheer diversity in travel and business opportunities that visitors can access through this gateway into the province of KwaZulu-Natal will unlock enormous potential. We are excited to be able to rekindle our relationship with England with the launch of this new route. The investment and trade opportunities presented by this direct flight between Durban and London will undoubtedly add value to our economy. KwaZulu-Natal is eager to showcase the province’s various tourism products and experiences, including some of the world’s most pristine natural habitats, which are enhanced by two World Heritage Sites, Ukhahlamba Drakensberg mountain range and St Lucia. International cargo through Dube Cargo Terminal had experienced continuous year-on-year growth, which amounted to a 138pc increase in volumes since 2010. The introduction of new passenger flights to Durban saw a growth of 25pc in cargo volumes, as well as an increased frequency of chartered aircraft
British Airways CEO Alex Cruz said Durban’s warm water, hot summers and laid-back beachy vibe make this coastal city the perfect holiday destination for Europeans. It is a gateway to many nature reserves, parks and historic sites, and has a thriving food, drink and art scene; defining the city as a must-visit for culture and adventure,”
Mayor of eThekwini Zandile Gumede said this underpins the council’s strategy to attract visitors and investors from the European market to Durban. This flight will create an enabling environment for our city to do business with our European partners with ease. About 90 000 passengers currently fly indirectly between Durban and London via Johannesburg or other hubs like Dubai.
Tourism KwaZulu-Natal acting CEO Phindile Makwakwa said England is already KwaZulu-Natal’s top international market and the direct flights would be a boost to arrivals in the Province, both for leisure tourists and business travellers.King Shaka International Airport is experiencing rapid growth due to the business opportunities created through Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone. While business will flourish, direct flights also offer locals more choice and the opportunity to connect to cities and countries around the world.Moving people fosters the movement of capital which means that the economy is active and thriving. When people make travel decisions, ease of connectivity is high up on their list of considerations. This direct link between the two cities will most certainly make our destination easier to package and sell. Dube TradePort is the only facility in Africa combining an international airport, dedicated cargo terminal, warehousing, offices, retail, hotels and agriculture.
Dube TradePort CEO Hamish Erskine said The Durban – London air service is in line with the global trend where airlines were increasingly flying directly into major secondary cities from global economic hubs. This presents an enormous opportunity for both destinations to grow business, trade, investment, cultural and tourism links. Currently, there are some 90 000 passengers flying between London and Durban every year, King Shaka International also saw passenger volumes reach 5.6m for the first time in the last financial year. We foresee a healthy demand on the route, as it stands airfreight volumes between Durban and London are in excess 1500 tons per annum, this is expected to increase substantially with additional volumes into the US markets connecting via British Airways London hub,”
No mention was made of the fact that the relationship started with a famous 1879 invasion of the Zulu lands in which 6,900 Zulus were killed).
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