in Route Planning & Tourism

BA begins A380 flights to South Africa

Posted 7 February 2014 · Add Comment

A British Airways' A380 will begin operating between London and Johannesburg from next week, starting Wednesday 12 February.

This is only the third route to be confirmed after Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Initially it will operate three times a week, with the other 11 Boeing 747-400 weekly frequencies. The A380 service will increase to six weekly services by 6 March, resulting in a net capacity increase on the route.

Modern, fuel-efficient aircraft are the mainstay of British Airways’ five-year investment programme in products and the A380 is the third of 12, all of which will be in daily service by 2017. It has also ordered 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and is the first airline in Europe to operate both aircraft types.

During the past fortnight the A380 aircraft has visited three major cities in South Africa. Since 27 January it has been based at King Shaka International Airport for flight crew training. Then the superjumbo paid a fleeting visit to Cape Town for a world first fly past over Table Mountain, before arriving in Johannesburg for a launch event.

On the launch event British Airways brought together the best of Britain and South Africa at 30,000 feet over Johannesburg to showcase how its £5 billion investment is benefitting customers.

Some 200 guests including top Springbok try scorer Bryan Habana, lock Flip van der Merwe, Freshlyground singer Zolani Mahola and a host of others were treated to two hours of non-stop entertainment and extravagance on board British Airways’ new A380.

British Airways operated by Comair, which operates domestic and regional flights in southern Africa, is also currently enhancing its fleet and recently took delivery of its first 737-800, next generation Boeing. Comair is investing R3.5 billion to replace its current fleet of 737-300 and -400 aircraft, with the more modern, fuel-efficient aircraft. A second 737-800 is due to be delivered in the half of 2014.

British Airways - operated by Comair - lounges, known as the SLOW Lounges, have proved popular with travellers and have set new standards for South African airport lounges, winning numerous local and international awards. Owing to high demand, the Cape Town facility will be expanded later this month, providing more space and comfort.

A new British Airways credit card, launched this week in partnership with Barclays, offers priority check in and other benefits, and the best Avios earn rate in South Africa.

Erik Venter, Comair chief executive, said: "Over the past 18 years many South Africans first experience of British Airways had been on a flight operated by Comair. Its new aircraft, improved on-board catering, more opportunities to earn frequent flyer benefits and privileges and seamless connections with international flights gives customers even more reason to fly British Airways."
 

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