FlySafair is starting the year strong with the announcement of its first new route for 2024. The airline will be launching a direct route between Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) just outside the Kruger National Park. This new route makes travelling between the two tourism hot spots more accessible for both local and international holidaymakers. At present, the route is serviced by Airlink and many have complained about exorbitant fees on the route.
“We are very pleased to be able to start the year off with such an exciting new route. Although flights to areas surrounding the Kruger National Park are readily available from Johannesburg, there are limited commercial flight options from Cape Town,” said Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair.
Thanks to the concerted efforts of Cape Town Tourism, the city has experienced a boom in popularity, particularly with international visitors. International tourism in the city has boomed, increasing by 76% between January and July last year. During the busy Christmas period, the number of visitors to the city exceeded pre-covid levels with officials recording 317 thousand international tourists passing through the city’s main airport with two-way tickets. Local travel to the Mother City has also grown. In the first six months of 2023 alone, Cape Town saw 3.2 million domestic two-way passengers pass through Cape Town International Airport, representing a 9% year-on-year growth. As a result, many of the local tourist attractions have seen drastic increases in the number of visitors.
The addition of more capacity and a low-cost carrier to the route between CTIA and KMIA offers an exciting opportunity to spread the tourism success currently being experienced in Cape Town to other attractions across the country. The Kruger National Park is one of the most spectacular and unique tourist attractions South Africa has to offer. Beyond acting as an important source of income for surrounding communities, it also plays an important role in preserving our country’s biodiversity and wildlife heritage. Growing this route will encourage international tourists and Cape Town locals to extend their holidays to include a visit to the park. This is likely to have a marked positive effect on overall tourism in South Africa.
“Cape Town and the Kruger National Park are two of our country's most popular tourist destinations. Unfortunately, though, they sit in opposite corners of our country, making travel between them both inconvenient and costly,” said Gordon. “We hope that by introducing our low-cost option to the market, we can encourage more tourists to build a visit to Kruger into their trip itineraries while also opening this gem to the people of the Western Cape.”
The inaugural flight for this route is planned for the 2nd of April and will make use of FlySafair’s Boeing 737-800. Tickets will start at R1851.00 one way, with flights leaving Cape Town at 9 am every Tuesday and Saturday and landing at the destination around 11:30 am. The aircraft will then be turned around, taking off from KMIA at 12:05 pm and landing at approximately 2:50 pm.