by NJABULO MKHIZE / SAVIOUS KWINIKA
DURBAN – BRITISH Airways (BA) will later this month introduce direct flights between Durban and London in a move set to boost travel and tourism in the coastal South African city.
Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) confirmed the British airliner would be operating from the King Shaka International to Heathrow Airport on the 29th (October).
In a response to enquiries from CAJ News Africa, ACSA Senior Corporate Affairs Manager at King Shaka International Airport, Colin Naidoo, said BA would have three flights per week between the two cities.
Presently, BA plies the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and King Shaka courtesy of ComAir, operated by Kulula Airlines.
The London-Durban direct BA flights will complement 13 other airlines already servicing the Johannesburg-to-Durban route.
These comprise Airlink, British Airways, Fly Emirates, FlySafair, Ksia Current Airlines, Kulula, Air Mauritius, Mango, Proflight Zambia, Qatar Airways, South African Airways, SA Express and Turkish Airlines.
Naidoo meanwhile said the upcoming service by BA at King Shaka came as the airport was expanding in anticipation of high influx of visitors in the next 60 years.
“Our airport has a masterplan that will see the development in 60 years and we are also part of the Durban Aerotropolis project,” Naidoo said.
With an investment potential of R1 trillion (US$68,45 billion), the Durban Aerotropolis will be a 32 000-hectare special economic zone that will be anchored by the airport.
Naidoo disclosed the King Shaka terminal was built to handle a capacity of 7,5 million passengers but currently handle 5,6 million. The runway is 3,7 kilometres and is A380 compliant.
“We have about 80 landings and same amount of take offs a day,” said Naidoo.
The airport has over 2,1 million departing passengers with 25 759 arriving air traffic movements.
– CAJ News