FlySafair adds four African cities to its destinations as tourism surges

A Safair plane taxis toward takeoff. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

A Safair plane taxis toward takeoff. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Oct 4, 2023


FlySafair has continued to expand its regional network, adding an additional four African cities to its growing list of destinations.

The new routes all link to Johannesburg, connecting the city with Harare, Victoria Falls, Maputo, and Livingstone.

Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair, said yesterday it had been an eventful week for them.

“Launching one new route is a noteworthy event on its own, so to launch all four routes in one week is so exciting. A huge congratulations must go out to all those involved for executing this so seamlessly,” Gordon said.

Among the new routes are two Zimbabwean destinations; Harare and Victoria Falls. The former will fly daily with ticket prices starting at R1000. The latter will connect Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International with the stunning scenery of Victoria Falls three times a week from R1400.

The Zambian city of Livingstone, which gives access to the other side of Victoria Falls, was also among the destinations FlySafair will now be flying to, as is the Mozambican capital of Maputo.

Both cities are popular with tourists and businesspeople, who can now take advantage of FlySafair’s hassle-free travel option from R1400 to Livingstone and Maputo.

Gordon said the FlySafair mission is to unite people with the faces and places they love.

“Having the opportunity to expand that mission across our southern African neighbours is a great privilege. We look forward to bringing South Africa and our neighbours closer as we expand our network,” he said.

The airline said it had seen extensive expansion in the last year, launching five new regional routes and one local route this year.

It said there was no question that the airline's growth was a positive indication of the state of tourism within South Africa and the reignition of international tourism to the country.

But, with the introduction of more options to popular southern African routes, South Africans would soon enjoy wider options when visiting southern African neighbours, it said.

Gordon said southern Africa has so much to offer. “While we have focused on the most strategically sound destinations for this initial expansion phase, we hope to get to a point where there is a thriving network of inter-African travel options which will bring us closer as a region and expose more people to the beauty waiting just across a border.”

“Building relationships with the public and officials is extremely important to us. Hopefully, in the future, we can expand our vision of becoming South Africa’s favourite airline to becoming Africa’s favourite airline!” Gordon said.

Last month, Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille said within the 4.8 million international arrivals from January to July this year, the African region had the biggest share while Europe played a significant role, contributing 14.3% (equivalent to 682 828) of the total tourists.

The minister said this reflected a substantial 61.5% increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.

Among European nations, the UK continued to be a pivotal source market for South Africa.

A staggering 204 885 UK tourists ventured to South Africa in this period, registering 45.7% growth in comparison to previous years.

Germany also exhibited strong growth, with 132 302 German tourists arriving, constituting a 73.3% increase in arrivals.

Similarly, the Netherlands sent 68 421 visitors, a commendable 60% rise. These statistics indicated a promising trajectory for international travel, suggesting a steady resurgence and a hopeful return to pre-pandemic levels, the minister said.