Perth Airport Welcomes Return of South African Airways

A South African Airways A340 lands at Perth Airport
Photo Credit: Perth Airport

Perth Airport enthusiastically welcomed South African Airways (SAA) back to Perth today. The flight arrival marking the airline’s successful relaunch of its popular service between Johannesburg and the Western Australian capital.

The Airbus A340-300 aircraft touched down at Perth International Airport shortly after midday local time on 1 May 2024.

Direct Connections for Tourism and Community

The significance of this inaugural non-stop service was highlighted by Deputy State Premier and Minister for Tourism Rita Saffioti.

She emphasized the crucial role it plays in Western Australia’s aviation recovery by providing direct connections for the substantial South African community residing in the state.

“We are thrilled to see the Johannesburg-Perth route reinstated,” Minister Saffioti said. “This not only brings significant advantages for our tourism industry but also marks a remarkable achievement. It secures direct links to the 19th international destination since the pandemic.”

The resumed flight is particularly welcome news for South African expats in Western Australia, their visiting families and friends, and even international travelers.

Notably, Springbok fans can now enjoy a direct connection for the upcoming Rugby Championship match at Optus Stadium in August.

Renewed Partnership After 4-Year Hiatus

Perth Airport CEO Jason Waters expressed his delight at SAA’s return after a four-year hiatus. He emphasized the airport’s long-standing, successful partnership with SAA, spanning over 17 years.

“We are incredibly pleased to have them flying through our doors once again,” Mr. Waters stated. “The service will initially operate three times per week, offering 78,936 seats to the Perth market.”

“We look forward to collaborating closely with South African Airways to potentially increase this to a daily service in the future.”

Mr. Waters acknowledged the large South African expat community in Perth and Western Australia.

He highlights the importance of this reconnection for those with family ties in South Africa and those eager to explore the country’s unique offerings.

Strategic Growth and Rekindling Connections

South African Airways CEO, Professor John Lamola, shared his enthusiasm for the relaunch. He emphasized the Perth route’s significance as a milestone in the airline’s recovery journey since its return to operation three years ago.

Professor Lamola confirmed a comfortable and pleasant 10-hour flight, highlighting it as the shortest route between Johannesburg and Perth.

“Perth holds a special place in the hearts of many South Africans,” Professor Lamola said. “We are excited to contribute to the reknitting and strengthening of these family and business ties.”

He further emphasized the importance of this route as the most direct connection across the Southern Hemisphere, connecting Sao Paulo to Perth via Johannesburg.

This opens up South Africa and Australia to a wider range of tourists and business travelers from Latin America, fostering regional economic growth and brand development for both countries.

Professor Lamola concluded by expressing his anticipation for a long and fruitful relationship with the people of Perth.

Aircraft Details

South African Airways operates the Perth-Johannesburg route using an A340-300 aircraft. This aircraft offers a total of 253 seats, with 38 Business Class seats and 215 Economy Class seats.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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