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Travel South Africa

New Norse Atlantic route connects London and Cape Town

Cape Town Air Access, in collaboration with Norse Atlantic Airways, has launched a new direct flight service between Cape Town International Airport (CPT) and London Gatwick Airport (LGW). Starting on 28 October 2024, Norse Atlantic Airways will offer three weekly flights on this new route, greatly improving travel connections between Cape Town and the United Kingdom.
Source: Free-Photos via
Source: Free-Photos via Pixabay

The partnership marks a milestone in Cape Town's efforts to bolster its global connectivity, particularly with one of its key source markets for international passengers.

Boosting convenience, economy, and jobs

The addition of Norse Atlantic Airways' direct flights will increase the weekly international flights between Cape Town and the United Kingdom to 27 flights per week during the upcoming International Air Transport Association (IATA) Winter season for 2024/25 which coincides with the South African Summer Season. This not only offers travellers greater convenience but also boosts the region's economic growth, helping create jobs in the tourism industry.

The United Kingdom holds a significant position as Cape Town's top market for international passenger traffic, followed by the United States and Germany. In 2023, the market witnessed an impressive 54% growth in two-way passenger traffic compared to 2022, with more than 360,000 passengers flying between the two destinations.

Increasing traveller options

Traffic between LGW and CPT reached over 43,000 two-way passengers in 2023, underlining the strong demand for connectivity between these two world-class airport destinations. The introduction of Norse Atlantic Airways' direct flights is expected to further stimulate tourism, facilitating seamless connections for both business and leisure travellers.

A recent country report from Wesgro’s Research Unit highlights the United Kingdom's significance beyond tourism, underscoring its pivotal role in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) within the region. Between January 2010 and November 2023, the UK initiated a total of 105 FDI projects in the Western Cape. These projects have contributed significantly to the region's economic development, generating an estimated capex exceeding R25bn and creating over 6,600 jobs.

Enhanced international connectivity

"Cape Town Air Access remains committed to expanding its network and fostering partnerships that enhance connectivity and drive economic development across the region. With the launch of Norse Atlantic Airways' direct flights to London Gatwick, Cape Town and the Western Cape look forward to welcoming even more visitors and strengthening its position as a premier global destination," says Wrenelle Stander, Wesgro CEO and Official Spokesperson for Cape Town Air Access.

"This new direct flight from London highlights our destination’s continued strength and appeal with travellers and investors in the UK and other key source markets. It further shows the value of the Air Access initiative, as supported by the City, and the reach of our campaigns. My team and I will continue to support these efforts to ensure more travel and trade to Cape Town.

"This includes our efforts to lobby National Government to liberalise measures for a more open air transport market. Where implemented, it has resulted in an increased utilisation of airspace, more competitive fares and more choices for travellers,” says Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth at the City of Cape Town, Alderman James Vos.

Western Cape to the world

Provincial Minister for Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, celebrated this exciting announcement: "We look forward to giving the new Norse Atlantic Airways route and passengers a very warm Western Cape welcome. As a world-class tourism destination, and home to some of the best wines, culinary delights, adventure and leisure options in the world, as well as breath-taking natural beauty, I am certain that this new route will be a great success, offering international visitors the opportunity to enjoy the many and diverse offerings we have across the Western Cape.

"This is also excellent news for our economy because more tourists mean more jobs in the province. A very big thank you to the amazing Air Access team, powered by Wesgro, for the work they do to land more flights, connecting Cape Town and the Western Cape to key source markets, bringing economic growth and job creation to the Western Cape."

Bolstering economic growth

"Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) celebrates Norse Atlantic’s announcement of its route to Cape Town International Airport. New routes solidify renewed confidence in the City, the region and the country's appeal, and contribute to bolstering its economic growth.

"Acsa is proud to be a partner of Cape Town Air Access which continues to deliver excellent results in enhancing international connectivity to the region. As the primary gateway to the Mother City, we eagerly anticipate servicing Norse Atlantic Airways and welcoming their passengers," said Mark Maclean, regional general manager for Cape Town International Airport.

"We are thrilled to introduce our new route between London and Cape Town. Norse Atlantic is committed to delivering exceptional value without compromising on quality and we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to experience the wonders of the world, our new route between London and Cape Town will allow many more people to visit these amazing destinations," says Bjorn Tore Larsen, CEO and founder of Norse Atlantic Airways.

The service will operate seasonally, offering three weekly flights. Flights will depart from London Gatwick (LGW) at 8pm, arriving in Cape Town at 9.30 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and will then depart for London Gatwick at 11.45am to arrive at 9.35pm.

Norse Atlantic Airways will use a Boeing 787-9 for these flights.

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