South African Airways (SAA) will from September offer direct flights between Johannesburg and Guangzhou in China, a senior airline official said on Monday.“The decision to launch this direct service between Johannesburg and Guangzhou means we remain on track in executing our strategy to transform SAA into a ‘fit for the future’ airline that will operate both efficiently and competitively,” SAA chief executive Vuyani Jarana said on Monday.
He said SAA will offer direct flights to the port city starting from 18 September 2019, giving its customers access to the heart of China’s export-led manufacturing industries.
The move is part of the airline’s strategy to enhance its route network, Jirana said.
The Guangzhou route will cater for a spectrum of travellers between Johannesburg and China, including business and corporate travellers, and will be of special interest to traders, he said.
Cargo operations will complement the viability of this route, considering that high value cargo is sourced from Guangzhou.
SAA will be the only carrier operating a direct service between Johannesburg and Guangzhou, with a flight time of nearly 13 hours and 40 minutes, providing the shortest travel time on a nonstop basis between the two points.
Guangzhou is the largest city in the Guangdong Province in southern China and the third largest Chinese city after Beijing and Shanghai. It is an important transportation hub and trading port, located on the Pearl River, some 120 km northwest of Hong Kong.