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SAA poised to fly directly to Beijing

Dec 13 2011 12:35 Sapa

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Johannesburg - South African Airways will fly non-stop to Beijing, China from January 2012, the airline said on Tuesday.

"This new route is in line with SAA's strategy to expand its network to Asia," said SAA CEO Siza Mzimela.

Mzimela said there were three SAA terminals at the Beijing Capital International Airport and flights were available three times a week using the A340-600 longhaul aircraft.

Flight time from SA to China is estimated at 15 hours.

"Introducing direct flights will promote tourism and trade, not only to SA, but also to all the Southern African Development Community and other African countries," Mzimela said.

The first flight is scheduled to leave Johannesburg on January 31 and is set to arrive in Beijing on February 1.

In August last year on a visit to China, President Jacob Zuma signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement and six memoranda of understanding "aimed at further strengthening bilateral ties and to implement areas of cooperation".

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