SAA Continues Flights to Gqeberha After Successful Seasonal Route

South African Airways (SAA) has announced that it will keep Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) as a permanent destination on its network, after a successful seasonal route that started in December 2023. SAA will operate two daily flights between OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport in Gqeberha, starting from March 31.

SAA’s Seasonal Route to Gqeberha: How Did It Start and How Did It Perform?

SAA launched its seasonal route to Gqeberha on December 15, 2023, as part of its recovery plan after emerging from business rescue in September 2023. The route was initially scheduled to run until January 31, 2024, but was extended until March 31, 2024, due to high demand and positive feedback from customers.

SAA said that the route was a success, as it attracted both leisure and business travellers, and contributed to the economic and tourism development of the Eastern Cape region. SAA said that it sold over 30,000 seats on the route, and achieved an average load factor of 75%. SAA also said that it received compliments from customers on the quality of its service and the convenience of its schedule.


SAA’s Permanent Route to Gqeberha: What Are the Details and Benefits?

SAA has decided to make Gqeberha a permanent destination on its network, and will continue to offer two daily flights between Johannesburg and Gqeberha, starting from March 31. The flight schedule is as follows:

  • SA0405 – JNB 11h25; PLZ 13h00
  • SA0419 – JNB 16h00; PLZ 17h35
  • SA0410 – PLZ 13h30; JNB 15h05
  • SA0422 – PLZ 18h05; JNB 19h40

SAA said that the permanent route will provide more options and flexibility for customers, and will enhance the connectivity and accessibility of Gqeberha and the Eastern Cape. SAA also said that the route will support the growth and recovery of the aviation and tourism sectors, which have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

SAA’s Chief Commercial Officer, Tebogo Tsimane, said: “We are delighted that SAA is able to keep Gqeberha as a permanent route offering and provide a seamless travel experience to meet the needs of all our customers. We are grateful for the support and cooperation of our stakeholders, including the Eastern Cape government, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the airport authorities, and the travel trade.”

SAA’s Future Plans: What Else Is in Store for the Airline?

SAA said that the permanent route to Gqeberha is part of its long-term strategy to rebuild and reposition the airline as a competitive and sustainable carrier. SAA said that it will continue to review and adjust its network and operations, based on the market conditions and customer demand.

SAA also said that it will launch new products and services, such as plant-based and organic food, ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook meals, and online and home delivery services. SAA also said that it will invest in its fleet, staff, and technology, as well as in its quality, safety, and environmental standards.

SAA’s CEO, Thomas Kgokolo, said: “We are confident that we have a solid foundation and a clear direction for the future of SAA. We are committed to creating value for our shareholders, customers, employees, and the society at large.”

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