Airlines from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria will soon be flying directly to and from Cape Town, some expanding the number of flights per week, and some first time entrants, boosting tourism from these and other European countries during our summer months, according to Tourism Update.
Wesgro CEO Tim Harris said that these flights reflect the increasing interest in Cape Town, and in direct flights in particular to our city. Tourism from Germany (10% growth), Switzerland (12% growth), and Austria (25% growth) showed significant growth in the first six months of this year.
Austrian Airlines will take up its flights from Vienna twice a week to Cape Town in summer again; Lufthansa will offer five direct flights a week between Cape Town and Frankfurt; and Edelweiss will fly between Zurich in Switzerland and Cape Town three times a week. Eurowings will also soon service the route to Cape Town, from Cologne in Germany, once a week, its first servicing of the Cape Town market.
Harris said about the increase in flights to Cape Town: ‘In the first half of this year, international arrivals to Cape Town grew by 27%. If we carry on at this growth rate, in six years Cape Town International Airport will be the same size as OR Tambo International Airport’.
Dr André Schulz, Lufthansa Group Manager for Southern Africa, said that there is growth and demand for the greater number of flights to Cape Town, even though the ‘point-of-sale share’ is still higher on the Johannesburg route. He said ‘That is why the focus for introducing more capacity remains on Cape Town’. German, Swiss and Austrian travellers are increasingly looking for alternative holiday destinations and Cape Town is gaining traction. It is not all that surprising that so many Europeans are happy to spend their holidays in the Western Cape. The destination offers very real value for money, which is why the various brands and hubs within our group continue to give Cape Town more attention. More flights, more services and more frequencies are on the cards’.
Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunity and Tourism, said that air access continues to be a focus for the provincial government, which is committed to growing tourism numbers even more. A ‘pipeline of projects were in place for 2018 as more routes would be unveiled to destinations around the world’, reported Tourism Update.
Minister Winde added that ‘In a country where we are battling to find 1% GDP growth, a 27% increase in international arrivals is a phenomenal number. In the upcoming summer season, we are scheduled to see an additional 130000 international seats flying to our destination, due to the commitment of all airlines from all parts of the world to start operating new routes direct to Cape Town, or to expand their current flight schedules’.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com Twitter: @Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram:@chris_ulmenstein