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KLM: More Dutch fans on their way

Jun 23 2010 13:41 Helena Wasserman

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Johannesburg - More Dutch football fans are deciding to fly out to South Africa.

KLM press officer Saskia Kranendonk said the airline has noticed increased ticket selling following the Dutch team's performance in first-round matches.

Earlier this week, Dutch media reported that a "massive" number of fans now want to attend the 2010 FIFA World Cup as fears about crime diminish.

However, a prominent tour operator was quoted as saying there was a lack of flights available.
 
Kranendonk says there are still tickets on sale, although "capacity is shortening".

KLM will probably not try to schedule more flights to South Africa. Slots and departure times are fixed a long time in advance, Kranendonk said.

The Netherlands team impressed in its opening matches and qualified for the next round, but only an estimated 10 000 Dutch fans are in South Africa.

Many stayed home due to alarming media reports about the country's crime levels and "pending civil war" following the murder of Eugene Terreblanche.

Klaas Deknatelchief, editor of the online publication Zuid-Afrika Journaal, said the media feedback since the start of the tournament has been very positive.

"[Dutch fans in South Africa] are also amazed how friendly South Africans are and feel much more secure than they had expected, as there is a lot of security and police on the streets.

"Some also expected to come to a third world country but notice that parts of Johannesburg do not look like that at all."

He says the "enormous enthusiasm" and support for the Dutch team in South Africa, along with reports about the country's natural beauty, should convince more fans to come.
 
 - Fin24.com
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