#AfriTravel: Singapore Airlines' new Cape Town route boosts air access to Asia

2017-12-22 08:37 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town - Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced new daily flights to Cape Town, via Johannesburg from 26 March 2018.

The airline currently operates four flights per week and, according to Wesgro, the new frequency demonstrates a growing demand for Cape Town as both a business and leisure tourism destination.

ALSO SEE: #FindYourEscape: 25 new flight routes and expansions SA travellers can take advantage of

Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris says this is a big boost for Mother City's economy. 

“This increased frequency will boost air access to Asia, the fastest growing region in the world. Singapore’s Changi Airport is a major global hub, making it easy to fly to Cape Town from anywhere in the East," says Harris.

“The benefits of this connectivity is significant. Making it easier to access Cape Town by air, increases the number of visitors to our shores."

Harris believes that this new expansion will not only boost leisure tourism, a major economic contributor to the Cape's economy, but will also help facilitate investment. 

"Indeed businessmen and women will now be able to come and see for themselves the excellent opportunities on offer in the Western Cape,” he says. 

The airline will operate flights to Cape Town using its Airbus A350-900 aircraft, which has the capacity to hold 253 customers (42 Business Class, 24 in Premium Economy Class and 187 in Economy Class). 

SEE: More direct flight routes on the cards as Cape Town Air Access and SAT join forces

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde says air access is a pipeline to growing the economy and creating jobs. 

"Singapore Airlines’ decision to increase their frequency to our region is a show of confidence in the business and leisure tourism offering of our region," he says, adding that this is the latest in a series of new and expanded direct routes, which have increased international air arrivals by 27% year-on-year. 

"The Cape Town Air Access initiative has played a significant role in boosting air arrivals to our region, and I’d like to commend the team for their continued commitment to growing the Western Cape’s tourism sector, and tourism jobs in our region,” says Winde. 

ALSO SEE: SA Travel Trends: Durban and Cape Town lead air passenger growth ahead of festive season

According to Wesgro, The Cape Town Air Access project’s key objective is to land more direct routes to Cape Town International Airport and its success has far exceeded expectations. 

Added to that, in its two and a half years, it has assisted in landing 10 new routes to Cape Town and now 12 route expansions. This has increased seat capacity into Cape Town International by over 700 000.

Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) has as a result shown high international growth figures with passenger numbers up by 23% in the first nine months of this year and is still expected to see more than a million passengers passing through its gates this month.

From 04 to 06 January is expected to be the peak time for the start of 2018, when everyone heads home after the festive season.

SEE: Cape Town Airport: Be early for flights as December is set to be the busiest ever

With some 26 international, regional and domestic airlines operating at the airport, in November, Deborah Francis, Airport Company South Africa (ACSA) spokesperson told Traveller24 the airport has an 11.2 million passenger projection for the 2017 calendar year. 

"We are growing and that is exciting news for the region," she says.

With that said, if the projections become a reality, CTIA would see tremendous growth compared to 2016 when it served just over 10 million passengers.

SEE: The world’s busiest airports: passengers vs air traffic

The Asian market is also growing at a double digit figures, with high growth in South East Asia, in particular from Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.

“On behalf of the Cape Town Air Access initiative, I would like to thank SIA for showing confidence in the Cape," Harris says. 

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