Johannesburg prepares for weekly SAA flights from Perth

A South African Airways A330 climbs after takeoff.
Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

Johannesburg is preparing to give travellers aboard the inaugural SAA flight from Perth a traditional wet welcome when it lands at O.R. Tambo International Airport at the end of April 2024.

The new route, launching in late April 2024, offers three non-stop flights a week and has already seen strong interest, especially in economy class.

The flight capitalizes on travel interest between South Africa and Western Australia’s capital city of Perth.

Three Year Hiatus

“We are thrilled to see this route return after a three-year break,” says Ms. Sthembiso Dlamini, CEO of the Gauteng Tourism Authority.

“This direct connection not only makes travel easier and more convenient for both leisure and business travelers, but it also strengthens trade and cultural exchange between South Africa and Australia.”

This becomes the second intercontinental route relaunched by the carrier SAA. It follows the successful re-opening of the Johannesburg-Sao Paulo route in October 2023.

This opens up new possibilities for travelers to South America, with onward connections to Sao Paulo from both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

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Connecting Cultures and Experiences

This new route bridges the gap between two vibrant continents.

It grants Australian travelers unprecedented access to the rich tapestry of experiences Gauteng has to offer. Visitors can take in sights from its bustling cityscapes to its breathtaking natural landscapes.

With a large South African diaspora resident in Perth, the flight also captures the family and personal travel market.

Tourists can embrace the #GPLifestyle – a unique blend of adventure, culture, and gastronomy. Explore the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and delve into our prehistoric past.

Visit Soweto, the birthplace of iconic leaders Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. and immerse yourself in the rich local culture and vibrant atmosphere.

Adventures and Serene Landscapes

For the adrenaline seekers, Gauteng offers a plethora of options, from bungee jumping and the world’s longest Scad freefall to kayaking, mountain climbing, cycling, and water sports.

Nature lovers will be captivated by the stunning scenery, parks, and wildlife experiences. The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden is recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful gardens.

In addition, various nature reserves offer exciting encounters with diverse flora and fauna, which includes the Big 5 on a safari adventure.

After just a 10-hour flight, travelers can experience a new and vibrant world. You can immerse yourself in the captivating sounds of the bushveld under a star-studded sky.

SAA Flight Details

Flight details (SA 280):

  • Depart Johannesburg (OR Tambo International Airport) on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 20:55.
  • Arrive Perth (Perth International Airport) the following day at 12:20.

Flight details (SA 281):

  • Depart Perth on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 14:40.
  • Arrive Johannesburg (OR Tambo International Airport) the same day at 19:35.

South African Airways (SAA) boasts a long and rich history. However, it has also faced significant financial difficulties over the years, undergoing several restructurings.

In 2019, it entered business rescue, and its operations were suspended for some time. The return of direct services to Perth after a 3-year hiatus will be likely warmly received.


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Johannesburg will see the return of direct flights from Perth with the national carrier South African Airways (SAA) commencing late April.
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