Earlier this week Eurowings, part of the Lufthansa Group, undertook its first direct flight between Cologne and Cape Town.
Serviced by an Airbus A330-300, there’ll be a flight from Cologne on Sundays, returning to Cape Town on Mondays. General manager of Lufthansa for Southern Africa, Dr André Schulz, says that Eurowings can be described as a premium low-cost brand. The airline offers only premium economy and economy seats.
Rapidly growing in Europe, Eurowings will also be open to expanding its Cape Town operations further in future.
“Cape Town is becoming more and more popular as a tourist as well as a business destination. Therefore, Lufthansa’s attention is also increasing on the city,” said Schulz.
A direct tourism spend of R43m is estimated over the first five months of Eurowings operation, according to Wesgro, Cape Town and the Western Cape’s official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency.
The new route was established with the help of a partnership between Wesgro, the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape government, Airports Company SA (Acsa), Cape Town Tourism and SA Tourism – Cape Town Air Access. CEO of Wesgro, Tim Harris, says the the Eurowings low-cost model will increase the ease with which leisure and business travellers can visit Cape Town and the Western Cape.
Schulz said Cologne is in one of the most crowded areas of Germany, leading to travellers from a number of nearby cities – including from across the close by Dutch border – having easy access to flights from there.
According to Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille, the increase in direct flights is a vote of confidence in the city. Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde says the flight shows the economic benefits of air access.
“This is why we have prioritised air access through our Project Khulisa growth strategy. We’ve seen growth of 27% in international air arrivals in the past year,” said Winde.
“Increased visitors to our region mean new economic opportunities for local entrepreneurs. More than 20 000 jobs have been added to the tourism economy since 2014, and improved air access helped drive this growth.”