SOUTH African airline, Airlink says it is looking beyond three weekly frequencies when it launches its Harare-Cape Town flights on March 3.
Managing director, Rodger Foster said this week plans were already underway to increase flight to daily from April 1.
Foster did not reveal how many passengers the airline will carry on the route this year, but the plan to increase service could be an indication that Airlink sees higher demand for flights between two of the region’s key cities.
The airline, which became an independent carrier late 2020 after ties with South African Airways were severed, has laid out a plan to connect most of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s key destinations, with Harare tipped to become a key destination.
The regional airline now has almost 1,2 million seats this winter, with three quarters of these deployed on its domestic routes, according to the United Kingdom based OAG, the flights data firm.
“We will launch with three return flights a week, increasing to daily flights from 1 April 2021 to provide customers with more choices and greater convenience,” said Foster.
“The new service is one of several Airlink flights connecting Cape Town with other destinations. Our south-bound flights will depart from Harare to Cape Town during the early afternoon; ensuring passengers have sufficient time to travel from Cape Town International Airport to their places of accommodation before the 21hr00 curfew. We have been looking forward to launching this important new route, which will provide convenience to business and leisure travelers, saving them precious hours transferring via Johannesburg and also limiting their exposure to potential touch-points, which is a key consideration as we adjust our travelling habits during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Airlink CEO noted.
The service is expected to support trade between Harare and Johannesburg.
Airlink is also expected to bolster commerce and tourism on the route.
Many of South Africa’s big corporations run units in Zimbabwe, and executives frequently travel to Harare from Cape Town, but through Johannesburg.
The airline, which already operates frequencies between Cape Town and Victoria Falls, said in December it would be adding Harare on its network from January 18, as it edges closer to its ambition to link most of SADC’s key destinations.
But on Monday, Airlink said it had pushed forward the launch in line with new South African lockdown regulations.— Staff Writer.