After being grounded for almost 18 months, South African Airways (SAA) resumed its operations as of Thursday, September 23. The airline had to abandon its service due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it now looks to add some competitiveness to the sector.
According to SAA board chairperson John Lamola, their return will surely add more competitiveness as ticket prices increased since they have been in and out of business rescue, Business Tech reports. Lamola says at least three local flights will take off on Thursday between Johannesburg to Cape Town each way.
— SAA – South Africa (@flysaa) September 23, 2021
— Heidi Giokos (@HeidiGiokos) September 23, 2021
SAA’s regional service will also see daily return flights between Johannesburg and Harare in Zimbabwe, as well as three return flights a week to Accra in Ghana, Kinshasa in the DRC, Lusaka in Zambia and Maputo in Mozambique, The Citizen reports.
Meanwhile, Cheapflights.co.za confirmed that they have noticed an increase in week-on-week searches for flights by about 134% for the long weekend coming up on Heritage Day.
The website also indicated that almost two-thirds of all searches have been made for domestic flights with about a 102% increase in searches compared to the week before the announcement, which shows the willingness of South Africans to travel locally.