South African Airways (SAA) will restart non-stop services between Perth and Johannesburg this year.
Launching on 28 April, the route will initially operate three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays using 253-seater A340-300 aircraft, adding 78,936 seats between Australia and South Africa. Perth Airport hopes SAA will eventually expand to a daily service.
“The return of South African Airways to Perth Airport is testament to the airline’s resilient efforts and our continued partnership over 60 years. It remains our key focus to ensure we grow international aviation into Perth and Western Australia,” said Perth Airport’s chief commercial and aviation officer, Kate Holsgrove.
“The return of South African Airways’ services between Perth and Johannesburg also provides an alternative itinerary for those travelling to South America with flights also available to Sao Paulo, Brazil from either Johannesburg or Cape Town with South African Airways.”
SAA is a member of Star Alliance and also codeshares with Virgin Australia. According to the CEO of SAA, Professor John Lamola, the restart of Johannesburg–Perth services is part of the carrier’s ambition to become “a revered leader in the global aviation sector” and expand its footprint to more than 20 destinations this year.
“Besides the global interconnectivity potential of this route, Perth has long been a favoured destination for South African and Australian travellers, with approximately 80 per cent of our target market being visiting family and friends,” he said.
“The recommencement of the route provides an easier and direct passage for both leisure and business travellers, promoting trade and cultural exchange between South Africa and Australia.”
No regular scheduled non-stop services currently operate between Perth and Johannesburg, though Qantas has flown seasonal services, and also operates a non-stop route between Johannesburg and Sydney using 787-9 Dreamliners.