July, 2003, JOHANNESBURG: Because of the increasing demand for seats and our commitment to boost tourism in the Western Cape, South African Airways will introduce additional direct flights between London and Cape Town.
The introduction of the Saturday and Sunday flights from November this year, follows extensive negotiations with Western Cape tourism authorities, provincial government and other stakeholders and the airline’s successful application for two additional slots (parking places for arrivals and departures) at Heathrow.
After the introduction of the additional flights, SAA will now have 23 flights a week between South Africa and Britain.
The flights will help boost tourism in the Western Cape, particularly after the opening of the International Convention Centre.
At the recent Slot Conference, SAA received two additional slots at London’s Heathrow airport. SAA had applied for three additional slots to introduce three additional flights between the United Kingdom and South Africa. Only two of these slots - on Saturdays and Sundays - were approved.
SAA’s ability to increase flights between Britain and South Africa depended on the availability of early morning slots at Heathrow.
Due to the unpredictability of the airline industry at the moment, the South African delegation attending the slot conference supported the position that additional frequencies to British carriers should only be granted over a two-year period and not over a three-year period, as had previously been the case.
These carriers wanted their frequencies to be increased to at least 40, then to 45 and eventually 50 frequencies. What they received was an increase from 34 to 36 frequencies.
SAA flies 21 times - - 46 if the return leg is included - - a week on the Johannesburg, Cape Town and London route.
SA234 departs daily from Johannesburg at 21h35 and arrives at London`s Heathrow Airport at 06h55 the next morning. SA220 departs daily from Cape Town to London. The additional flights will operate on Saturday and Sundays, meaning on those days, SAA will have two flights between Cape Town and London.
SA226 departs Mondays at 21h35 to arrive in London at 06h55 the next day.
We have time and again committed ourselves to increasing tourist numbers to South Africa. With these two extra slots, we have again emphasized that as a Proudly South African company, tourism lies close to our hearts.