11 JUNE 2012
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Cape Town is to lose its non-stop South African Airways services to London, leaving British Airways and Virgin Atlantic as masters of the route. Local tourism chiefs have expressed disappointment and concern about the move.
"A thorough analysis of the route made it clear that we could use our aircraft more profitably elsewhere while continuing to ensure excellent business and tourism links between the Western Cape and the UK with our significant capacity via Johannesburg", said Theunis Potgieter, SAA’s General Manager Commercial.
It says the market between the UK and South Africa has shrunk by 24% over the last three years due to increased APD and the £52 visa fee for South Africans coming to the UK. However competition from Middle East carriers, with very competitive fares, has also been a factor.
Flights will cease on 15 August and passengers will either be transferred to the new route or offered a refund. SAA currently offers two daily services between Heathrow and Johannesburg and will increase capacity by 13% using larger aircraft. www.flysaa.com
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