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Travel South Africa

SAA resumes flights between JHB and Perth

South African Airways has resumed its direct service between Johannesburg and Perth, offering flights three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The flights depart at 8.55pm and arrive in Perth at 12.20pm the next day.
Source: Julian Herzog via
Source: Julian Herzog via Wikimedia Commons

The inward-bound flights to South Africa will depart from Perth on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 2.40pm and arrive the following day at OR Tambo International Airport at 7.35pm. The non-stop nine-and-a-half-hour flight will operate an SAA Airbus A340-300 aircraft, configured to carry 38 passengers in business class and 215 in economy.

The Johannesburg-Perth route is a strategic route for the Southern Hemisphere, providing passengers with the convenience of direct intercontinental air connectivity. Australia has seen an increase in the number of South Africans that travel to the country for both leisure and business travel.

Social and economic impacts

SAA CEO Professor, John Lamola highlighted the importance of the route relaunch as a symbolic moment for the airline, marking its recovery and strategic repositioning post-Covid-19.

"What differentiates this particular route is the richness in the traffic anticipated between Australia and South Africa, particularly because of visits between family."

Regarding the social impact of South African Airways, Lamola notes: "This is a great moment to see ourselves deliver on our mandate of ensuring that we contribute to economic development and the other social impacts that an airline like ours has in connecting people
interculturally across the continents."

It is expected that the non-stop service will bring more than 39,000 additional inbound passengers from South Africa to Western Australia every year. Before the pandemic, Australia attracted about 58,000 visitors from South Africa in 2019, 34% of whom visited Western Australia.

South African Airways initially started flying the Perth route on 1 April 2003 and terminated the service on 20 March 2020. During this period, the route contributed an estimated R21.8m a year to Airports Company South Africa's (Acsa) Aeronautical Revenue.

ACSA CEO Mpumi Mpofu notes that the resumption of the Perth route comes amidst Acsa’s solid post-pandemic recovery, which is reflected in the festive season statistics from its major airports.

"Our recovery efforts are further underscored by the expected revenue from this route. The landing revenue from the Perth route is expected to reach R 5,470,150, while the passenger revenue is expected to amount to R6,869,854, resulting in a combined total of R12,340,004," says Mpofu.

"Acsa would like to congratulate SAA for the important strides that it is making in our country’s aviation sector, as the resumption of the route to Perth is key to fostering growth and enhancing connectivity, as well as fulfilling our shared commitment to elevating South Africa's aviation sector on the global stage."

Enhancing regional and global connectivity

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi highlighted the crucial role of cargo and tourism for Gauteng’s economy, as well as the importance of building routes between South Africa and other BRICS countries.

"Building on these sectors, our partnership within BRICS offers an immense opportunity to showcase our goods and enable our citizens to access new markets. It's about making meaningful connections that empower our communities and drive our economic engine forward," he says.

Mr Green, an Australian passenger who originally travelled from Australia to Johannesburg via Singapore, is among the first to benefit from this direct flight. He expressed his excitement for the shortened travel time. Mr Green remarked; that previously, getting to Perth involved a gruelling 23-hour journey with lengthy stopovers. "Now, I can travel in just 9 hours."

This is the second significant route introduced by SAA in the last six months, after the airline launched a service to São Paulo, Brazil, in October last year.

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