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UK-Durban direct flight boosts tourism
The City has gained exponentially in the tourism sector after
the introduction of direct fl ights from the United Kingdom to
Durban.
THE introduction of direct flights between London and Durban by British Airways a year ago is paying dividends for the local tourism sector. This is after the recent announcement that British Airways boosted Durban and KwaZulu-Natal’s tourism by an additional 11 percent with international passengers.

The figures, released by King Shaka International Airport, indicate that global passenger numbers have increased by 11 percent for the 2019 period ending in September compared to the same period in 2018. Domestic passenger numbers have also seen a positive six percent growth this year. The total number of passengers at the airport, both international and domestic, has increased by 265 000 compared to 2018.

MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube said it was gratifying to see the growing local and international demand for direct flights. “We hope that the success of these airlines on direct routes will encourage other international airlines to fly
direct to Durban,” she said. Welcoming the great news, Deputy City Manager for Economic Development and Planning Phillip Sithole said: “The United Kingdom is one of the City’s key market in terms of attracting international tourists. It also serves as the hub of flights from other European countries.

Therefore, the direct flight has immensely assisted to accelerate our awareness efforts in cementing
Durban’s position as an international destination. This 11 percent growth will encourage us to double our efforts to continue stabilising our global standing.” Chief Executive of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal and co-chair of Durban Direct, Phindile Makwakwa said the British Airways air link between Durban and London has helped position the province as a veritable gateway into Africa.

Hamish Erskine, Chief Executive of Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone said these number will elevate the airports status of being South Africa’s fastest growing international air gateway. “This is also an indication that there is an untapped demand for direct air services into and out of Durban,” he said.
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