#AfriTravel: Lufthansa celebrates 55 years of connecting SA to the world

2017-05-23 10:36 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town - Dr Andre Schulz, Lufthansa Group General Manager for Southern Africa says they are proud to have played a "major role in connecting South Africans to the world, and the world to South Africa over the last 55 years..

Sunday 14 May saw the European airline celebrating 55 years of successful operations in the country, since launching its first scheduled operations between Germany and SA on 14 May 1962.

The airline has seen major growth from its first days of offering 2-weekly flight from Frankfurt to Johannesburg through a series of intermediary stops in Africa using the Boeing 720B - the industry’s best long-haul aircraft at the time - with four connections via Salisbury (Harare), Nairobi, Khartoum and Athens which took about 16 hours to complete.

Today, the airlines boast with 24 weekly flights, serviced by the Lufthansa Group’s airlines non-stop flights, Lufthansa, SWISS, and Edelweiss from Johannesburg and Cape Town to various European destinations through the Lufthansa Group’s Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich hubs and 5 additional flights per week between Frankfurt and Johannesburg using Boeing 747-8.

Cape Town, currently serviced by three weekly flights from Frankfurt using a newly refurbished Airbus A340-300, Dr Schulz says the airlines will extend its frequency to 5 weekly flights from October 2017 using an Airbus A340-600.

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“In addition, The Lufthansa Group is also proud to announce that a new airline will commence its European winter seasonal service to the South African market. Eurowings, the Lufthansa Group’s low-cost fully owned subsidiary, will commence its Cologne – Cape Town direct route from 5 November 2017," says Dr Schulz.

According to Dr Schulz, Flight EW 126 will depart Cologne at 15:00 on Sundays and arrive in Cape Town at 03:10 the following day. The return flight EW 127 will depart Cape Town on Mondays at 04:40 and arrive in Cologne at 16:45 the same day and the last flight of the season, flight EW 127, will depart Cape Town on March 26, 2018.

"The flights will be operated with an Airbus A330 with 17 seats in premium economy seats and 289 in economy.

“This is just the next step in the Lufthansa Group strategy to increase its service offering to Southern Africa,” says Dr Schulz.

Looking ahead to the next 55 years, Dr Schulz says the era of digitalisation and personalisation within the travel sector is upon Lufthansa.

"Travellers are and will continue to expect a greater degree of personalisation when it comes to their travel experience, and Lufthansa’s digitalisation strategy is one way by which we will continually meet and exceed our traveller's expectations,” says Dr Schulz.

Added to this, Dr Schulz says Lufthansa is proud to bring the international best practice to the travel industry, through the introduction of new booking channels and processes to ensure our partners benefit from the changes within the global travel industry.   

“The next 55 years for the Lufthansa group’s South Africa service is extremely exciting," says Dr Schulz.

"We look forward to continuing our growth in South Africa by providing and improving on our best in class travel experiences to travellers, as well as our best-practice industry processes and products. With the objective to continually improve our products and provide a better travel experience for our passengers, the next 55 years will no doubt see further investment and innovation.

“For nearly six decades Lufthansa has been a pillar of safety, reliability and quality. As a leading airline in technology and innovation, we look forward to continuing on this delivery to the South African market,” concludes Dr Schulz.