VENTURES AFRICA – South Africa’s national carrier, South African Airways (SAA) has announced plans to add two new destinations to its Africa-region route network in the next two months, bringing the airline’s African routes to 28.
SAA’s new destinations are Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Brazzaville (DRC Congo); the airline will offer its services twice in a week to Ivory Coast from August 17 as an extension to its Accra (Ghana) flights on Tuesdays and Fridays while it will commence a twice-weekly service to Brazzaville.
“These flights will be added as an extension to our Accra (Ghana) flights on Tuesdays and Fridays. In addition we have also secured traffic rights between Accra and Abidjan enabling us to serve customers flying between these two cities in either direction,” South African Airways’ Country Manager for Australasia Tim Clyde-Smith said.
Abidjan will be SAA’s sixth additional destination on the continent and Brazzaville the seventh that the national carrier has introduced since October last year. Cotonou in Benin and Pointe Noire (Congo) were other recent additions in Africa.
“Abidjan is the economic capital of the Ivory Coast, the largest city in the country and the third-largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris and Kinshasa,” he said.
“Considered a cultural hub of French West Africa, Abidjan is characterised by a high level of industrialisation and urbanisation. We have seen increasing tourism and business traffic to the Ivory Coast, so it is a logical step to help meet customer demand with these new flights,” Clyde-Smith said.
“On the other hand, Brazzaville, is the financial and administrative capital of the Republic of Congo. The city is located on the Congo River; and as of the 2001 census, it has a population of 1,018,541 in the city proper, and about 1.5-million in total when including the suburbs located in the Pool Region.
The populous city of Kinshasa (more than 10-million inhabitants in 2009) and capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; lies just across the Congo River from Brazzaville. Together with Kinshasa, the combined metropolitan area of Kinshasa-Brazzaville has nearly 12-million inhabitants.”
Adding Abidjan and Brazzaville to its Africa network route is part of SAA African growth strategy of expanding its presence on the continent while ensuring that destinations that were once difficult to reach by air are now more accessible to our customers.
“SAA is focused on ensuring that connections to developing African business and leisure hubs are strengthened. Our goal is to offer convenient connections and a world-class product to our customers across the continent. Adding these routes to our African route network further demonstrates our commitment to growth on the continent,” says Theunis Potgieter, SAA’s General Manager Commercial.