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SAA Announces Return of Flights to Perth, Australia

South African Airways (SAA) is set to resume flights to Perth, Australia, with the inaugural flight scheduled for 28th April 2024. Bookings for the Johannesburg to Perth route opened today, marking a strategic move in SAA’s plans to enhance its long-haul intercontinental air connectivity.

SAA’s CEO, Professor John Lamola, expressed enthusiasm about the expansion, citing the airline’s commitment to scaling operations and leveraging its capabilities as a national carrier with wide-body aircraft. This initiative aligns with SAA’s goal to reach a profitable level of operation.

The Perth route follows the successful launch of the Sao Paulo, Brazil route on 31th October 2023, making it the second interoceanic route to be reopened within six months. Additionally, SAA introduces a Southern hemisphere travel package, enabling seamless travel from Perth to Sao Paulo through Johannesburg and vice versa.

As a member of the Star Alliance, SAA aims to enhance travel into and out of Australia for customers of the 25 airlines within the alliance. Professor Lamola emphasized the significance of the route for South African and Australian travelers, with around 80% of the target market being visitors seeking family and friends.

The new flights (SA 280) from OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, to Perth will operate three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, departing at 20h55 and arriving the following day at 12h20. Flights from Perth (SA 281) are scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, departing at 14h40 and arriving the same day at 19h35 in Johannesburg.

During the launch phase, SAA will operate an Airbus A340–300, offering a total seat capacity of 253 (38 business class seats and 215 economy seats). The A340–300 is known for its spaciousness, comfort, reliability, and capability to handle long-distance flights.

The reintroduction of the Perth route also brings new opportunities for SAA Voyager frequent flyers to earn and redeem air miles. SAA Voyager members can earn one mile for every R1.60 spent on air tickets, and additional opportunities are available through the HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card administered from Australia.

CEO Professor John Lamola affirmed SAA’s commitment to global growth, expressing confidence that the vision of expanding to over 20 destinations in the coming year will be realized. The return of the Perth route signifies a significant step in establishing SAA as a leader in the global aviation sector.

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