South African Airways Reorganises Long Distance Services, Cuts down London to Cape Town Flights

South African Airways (SAA), a South Africa-based airline, has terminated its service to London, from Cape Town, in South Africa.

The airline is offering flights to London only from its Johannesburg hub, effective from August 16, 2012. The airline has recently reorganised its long-haul routes for the more efficient management of aircraft, and will be expanding its twice-daily services between Johannesburg and London Heathrow airport by 13 percent, by using larger aircraft on the route.

Theunis Potgieter, the airline general manager commercial, said, ‘SAA is redeploying its capacity to routes experiencing expanding demand as part of our larger strategy for growth and increased efficiency within the airline. As an airline which has a key role in the development and support of the economy and tourism across South Africa, we are constantly working to ensure the optimal use of our resources in the national interest, for example by ensuring additional connectivity between the BRICS partners Brazil, China, India, and South Africa, and to an increasing number of African destinations.

A thorough analysis of the route made it clear that we could use our aircraft more profitably elsewhere while continuing to ensure excellent business and tourism links between the Western Cape and the UK with our significant capacity via Johannesburg. It is also clear that we would lose money on the direct route in future, whereas it is possible for us to operate more optimally between Cape Town and London via our Johannesburg hub.’

The airline has also been offering direct flights between Johannesburg and Beijing, China, since February this year, and expanded its service to Mumbai, India, in May. The airline is currently offering new, non-stop services to New York, reducing its flying time on the route by 90 minutes.