South African Airways has announced an expansion of its African routes into the Congo as well as a new international route to China. According to SAA’s Head of Australasia, Thevan Krishna, the airline will expand its presence in Central Africa with a new service to Pointe Noire in the Congo from 26 January 2012. The airline will also commence flights to Beijing, China from January 31, 2012.
“Our new flight to Pointe Noire is a welcome addition to our ever-expanding network on the African continent and offers our customers further access into Central Africa. We will now operate to 21 cities in Africa with the commencement of this new service,” Thevan said.
According to Thevan, Pointe Noire is the economic capital of the Congo and is SAA’s fourth new African destination this financial year (2011-2012), joining Ndola (Zambia), Kigali (Rwanda) and Bujumbura (Burundi) as the airline’s most recent additions to route network on the continent.
“Pointe Noire is the second-largest city in the Congo, after the capital – Brazzaville, and the main commercial centre of the country. Pointe Noire is the centre of the oil industry in the Congo, which is one of the main oil-producers in Central Africa,” Thevan said.
“Our first flight to Pointe Noire will depart from Johannesburg on Thursday 26 January 2012. Pointe Noire will be served twice a week using our Airbus A319. These aircraft offer 120 seats – 95 Economy and 25 in Business Class,” he said.
Schedule Johannesburg to Point Noire:
Flight Days From Departs To Arrives
Depart Johannesburg to Point Noire
Sunday Johannesburg 09h45* Point Noire 13h05*
Return Pointe Noire to Johannesburg
Sunday Pointe Noire 14h05* Johannesburg 19h10*
SAA is also delighted to announce after protracted negotiations that it will commence flying from Johannesburg to Beijing from January 2012.
Thevan said SAA’s inaugural flight is scheduled to depart on Tuesday 31 January 2012 from Johannesburg to arrive in Beijing, China with the return flight on Wednesday 1 February, 2012.
“Introducing direct flights to Beijing is in line with our strategy to expand our network to Asia, the fastest-growing market in the world. SAA will operate the Beijing route three times a week which will be served by our Airbus A340-600 aircraft and will operate the route directly year round with no passenger payload restrictions. Flying time between Johannesburg and Beijing takes on average 15 hours,” Thevan said.