LONDON – South African authorities have cleared US carrier Delta Air Lines to operate triangular flights between Atlanta, the United States to Johannesburg, and onwards to Cape Town as per new order passed by the Transport and Tourism ministry in South Africa from autumn 2022.
As the world is once again looming out of pandemic and is on a steady path of recovery, the US-based carrier Delta Air Lines had sought approval from the South African authorities to re-introduce its services between the United States and South Africa.
MAYCO member for economic growth, Mr. James Vos stated that he had made several appeals and submissions to the South African Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, and Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu for a re-operation permit for the Delta Air Lines over the past few months and the efforts have finally concluded with the recent announcement of flight operation resumption for the carrier.
Mr. James Vos stated that “Connecting Cape Town with key source markets around the world, and especially North America, is vital for economic growth and a game-changer for so many linked industries.”
Rise of Delta Air Lines in Africa
As Delta Air Lines would once again establish the economic linkage between the United States and South Africa, the substantial exchange of tourism, business, and VFR travelers would be benefiting from the new connection from the Delta Air Lines hub at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.
As the US carriers are witnessing rapid recovery since the rise of the global pandemic in 2020, the airlines are making steady efforts in reintroducing their flight operations to the African continent.
With the latest development being the triangular route permit given to Delta Air Lines, the spread of Delta service to Africa would accumulate to five destinations with Accra (Ghana), Lagos (Nigeria), Dakar (Senegal), Cape Town (SA), and Johannesburg (SA).
This would further strengthen Delta Air Lines’ presence in the African markets, with emphasis on South Africa.
The steady rise of international Traffic to South Africa
As the world is trying to put itself back on the track after the post-pandemic era that has crippled the world economy with substantial trimmers experienced by the tourism and airline industry, South Africa has made a series of positive efforts to boost the tourism economy by re-opening its borders for international travelers.
South African tourism contributes more than US$ 21 billion in 2019 (11.1billion 2020) with maximum emphasis on foreign arrivals and thus has been making substantial efforts to gain travel confidence once again in the post-pandemic era.
As part of these ongoing efforts, “Air Belgium announced it would start a seasonal route from September while Air Botswana, Emirates, and KLM would all increase the frequency of their flights in the coming months,” added Mr. James Vos.