South African Airways to launch flights to key trade hub in China, Guangzhou

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May 7, 2019: South African Airways (SAA) customers will get access to the heart of China’s export led manufacturing industries with its direct service on Guangzhou-Johannesburg route launching on September 18 this year. 

Cargo operations will complement the viability of this route considering that high value cargo is sourced from Guangzhou.

The airline has planned to operate three flights per week with its Airbus A340-300 aircraft to Guangzhou, city in south China. It is an important transportation hub and trading port, located on the Pearl River about 120km Northwest of Hong Kong.

This service will complement its existing operations to Hong Kong. This means, SAA will fly four times a week to Hong Kong. 

The Guangzhou route will cater for a spectrum of travellers between Johannesburg and China including business and corporate travellers and will be of special interest to traders. Formal and informal traders source the majority of goods purchased in Sub-Saharan Africa from the province, due to Africa’s poor manufacturing capacity.

Vuyani Jarana, CEO, SAA said: “Adding a direct service to mainland China, combined with our current popular flights to Hong Kong provides SAA with immense growth opportunities to and from mainland China. It also gives our traders access to the centre of Chinese manufacturing.”

For more travel options for SAA customers flying to and from Guangzhou, the airline has interline agreements with China Southern Airlines, China Eastern, Air China and Hainan Airlines.

To complement this initiative Guangzhou city has an extensive fast train network connecting the hub with important cities in China within 1-3 hours of SAA’s arrival and departure time. 

The newly opened 45 minutes’ fast train line between Guangzhou and Hong Kong provides alternatives to our customers to use both SAA’s Hong Kong and Guangzhou services.

SAA is also negotiating a code share agreement with Hong Kong Airlines, anticipated to be in place this financial year, for further travel options for customers travelling beyond Hong Kong. Hong Kong airlines will codeshare on SAA’s Hong Kong-Johannesburg sector and provide feeder traffic from Japan, Korea, Philippines and China.

The afternoon arrival flight in Guangzhou will connect to more than twenty cities in China and these include SHANGHAI, BEIJING, FUZHOU, XIAMEN, NANNING, KUNMING, HAIKOU, QINGDAO, NANCHANG, WUHAO, and CHENGDU to mention the top ten within one to three hours of arrival time in Guangzhou.

The inbound flights from Guangzhou will allow for connections with arriving flights from Japan and Korea that are an important market on days SAA will not be operating from Hong Kong.

“We are confident that the introduction of this route is based on sound commercial considerations and will not only benefit SAA but South Africa as a whole as China is the largest source market in Asia. It is also South Africa’s largest trading partner in the world,” concluded Jarana.

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