SAA resumes Lagos/Jo’burg route December 12

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After more than one year of absence, South African Airways (SAA) has concluded plans to resume the lucrative Johannesburg-Lagos route on December 12, 2021.

The airline’s resumption of flights between the two countries will once again bring relief to  many of its loyal customers who hitherto had to travel through other connecting flights out of Lagos to Johannesburg and other destinations in Southern Africa.

The carrier’s addition of the Johannesburg-Lagos route is another important continental route to its network with a three-time a week flight to Lagos in Nigeria.

SAA has been flying to Nigeria for the past 23 years and the resumption of the service has been described as a welcome addition to its growing continental offering.

In a statement, the interim CEO of SAA, Thomas Kgokolo, said, “This specific destination takes SAA into one of the biggest travel markets in Africa and we’re delighted that we are again able to resume operations, providing a link between Africa’s two biggest economies.”

Describing the service as part of SAA’s gradual growth strategy, having resumed full operations in September, Kgokolo added, “Our intention is to continue to develop our route network driven by passenger demand and revenue potential. We are constantly evaluating opportunities, both locally, regionally, and internationally.”

According to him, not only did the new Johannesburg-Lagos route function as a key economic link between the two countries but would also service the burgeoning tourism market in both countries.

He disclosed that would continue in partnership with South African Tourism to promote the country in Nigeria in the expectation that it would lead to more visitors now that international pandemic travel restrictions are being revised.

South African Airways had on September 23, 2021 resumed operations after a year of inactivity and almost 18 months without a commercial flight.

The carrier initially offered flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka, and Maputo.

SAA has not flown any commercial flights since March 2020 and ceased all cargo and repatriation flights in September last year.

“After months of diligent work, we are delighted that SAA is resuming service and we look forward to welcoming on board our loyal passengers and flying the South African flag. We continue to be a safe carrier and adhere to COVID-19 protocols.”

Tickets went on sale on August 26 and have sold well, according to the airline with early figures indicating flights may be up to 75 per cent full, while opening up other routes may prove to be a complication due to ongoing travel restrictions.

According to Kgokolo, “There is a profound feeling of enthusiasm within team SAA as we prepare for takeoff, with one common purpose -to rebuild and sustain a profitable airline that once again takes a leadership role among local, continental, and international airlines.”

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