German fans face flight shortage

2010-06-29 13:46

Johannesburg – Demand for German flight tickets to South Africa is "enormous" following the national team's trouncing of England at the weekend.

The majority of Lufthansa flights from Frankfurt to Johannesburg in June and July have reached their capacity in economy class, said Axel Simon, southern Africa director for Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines.

There are seats available in the airline's premium class as well as business and first class, and some economy class seats may still be found on a couple of dates.

"As Lufthansa follows the principles of supply and demand no special fares in economy are currently on offer," said Simon.

Lufthansa operates a daily non-stop schedule between Frankfurt and Johannesburg.

Two German tour operators, Dertour in Frankfurt and Passion SA in Darmstadt, have experienced an "enormous" demand for tickets to the World Cup, the German media has reported.

Dertour will charter flights to South Africa if Germany reach the finals. Passion SA is currently selling packages, including tournament tickets, for €1 600 per person. A spokesperson for the company said there has been immense pick-up in demand over the past three weeks, but that there are not enough flights available.

The previous hosts of the World Cup have not been wildly enthusiastic about SA's ability to stage the tournament.

German visitor numbers – there are believed to be only 10 000 German tourists in the country – have been depressed by negative reporting, particularly of remarks by German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer in the run-up to the tournament.

He was highly critical about South Africa's "big African problems" and its competence to host the World Cup.

At the start of the year Beckenbauer, who was president of Germany 2006's World Cup organising committee, said Germans would not come to South Africa because of security fears and expensive tickets.

Beckenbauer's comments did a lot of damage and his more positive tone since landing in South Africa should help convince Germans to come, said Brett Dungan, CEO of the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (Fedhasa).

Germany's Development Cooperation Minister Dirk Niebel has proclaimed the tournament "well organised".

Press coverage of South Africa has also improved, with the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur reporting that "contrary to all expectations, the South African World Cup is a normal football tournament".
Dungan believes Germany will be the key to a possible new wave of tourists in July.

This will depend on Germany's performance on the field, though. While the team impressed with its crushing 4-1 defeat of England, it faces Argentina on Saturday in what some commentators have described as an "early World Cup final". Argentina is unbeaten so far in the tournament.


  • ZANE - 2010-06-29 14:03


  • nigel - 2010-06-29 14:14

    Despite Beckebauers disgusting despicable negativity before the WC & Maradonnas wonderful positivity, I hope that Germany wins on Sat & we have a Holland vs German final. Go HOLLAND!!!

  • patrick - 2010-06-29 14:28

    What the hell is a sticking attitude? TO ALL NATIONS........ You are most welcome, the more the merrier!

  • cuba - 2010-06-29 14:28

    GO DEUTSCHLAND!!! Paul the octopus prophet has already predicted that the Germans will win this match

  • TNC - 2010-06-29 14:30

    there's no need for the Germans to come here.Come saturday, they'll be flocking to the aiports to head back to Germany.Dont Mess with MESSI!!!!

  • ChrisB - 2010-06-29 14:33

    @Zane. Great job generalizing, all you needed to really make your argument stick was a Hitler reference. All Germans have a "sticking" attitude, all Brits are drunken louts, all Afrikaaners are racist, all Blacks are thieves and corrupt, All americans are stupid, blah blah blah, so tired of you bloody whingers with your stereotyping.

  • Maestro - 2010-06-29 14:37

    I am a South African but of German decent and the statements made by Beckenbauer where very unfair and I trust he will made to answer for them in some way now that its been proved we can host a world cup. In fact from what I have heard its been far more successful than the one Germany held 4 years ago, so take that.

  • vuvu - 2010-06-29 14:39

    Despite Beckebauers disgusting despicable negativity before the WC & Maradonnas wonderful positivity, I hope that Germany wins on Sat & we have a Holland vs German final. Go HOLLAND!!!

  • Yanda - 2010-06-29 14:42

    You know that guy has a nerve after having badmouth South Africa like that. he did a laot of damage as far as our reputation of hosting SWC is concerned. He should publicly apologise for assuming the worst...What's up with Brits and Germans sticking their noses on South African business?

  • motswanagape - 2010-06-29 14:44

    Those prophets of doom who didn't come to South Africa... its their own loss.Lesson for our own PR 's of doom .

  • wendy - 2010-06-29 14:45

    Holland must win the WC!!!!!! Germans must lose. We have enough germans living here in Western cape - 750 000 to be exact. Not a joke, this is fact. We do not need any more german 'bon pensant' at 'Euro-by-the-sea' CapeTown.

  • Tom - 2010-06-29 14:48

    Go Germany, you can win the FIFA World Cup! and to the German supporters come and support your team in SA, it is safe and you will enjoy every min of your time here is SA. I’m a white South African supporting the German team GO GERMANY!!!!!!!!

  • TL - 2010-06-29 14:51

    there's a lot of support for holland and germany in SA. i wonder why...

  • Kiepie - 2010-06-29 14:54

    "Sticking" wat jy waar kry ? Seker maar n gatvol Engelse ondersteuner ! Zane moenie vol k@k wees nie.

  • SEPP - 2010-06-29 14:55

    Eat your hearts out German lunatics.This is the best world cup ever even better than yours.Hope Argentine wallops you 4-0

  • papoose - 2010-06-29 14:56

    i'm rooting for ARgies Maradona over Beckenbauer any day after this!!!!

  • Reality - 2010-06-29 14:57

    Reality is now dawning on the Germans.Beckebauers middle name should be perception.

  • Fred - 2010-06-29 15:00

    Let the Chermans come! Octopus Paul has predicted a Cherman win over Argentina. Spain or Portugal after that. Beckenbauer says what he sees. Now he sees everything is OK, a major surprise to many locals too I should add...

  • Paddy - 2010-06-29 15:02

    Yeah Zane, nice going mate. I've also heard that you have an unsticking attitude. Wow, that must make you an amazing person.

  • Kola - 2010-06-29 15:04

    Now that the poms have gone home and one of our SAA crew members have been caught on Heathrow again due to the huge demand overthere, it will be a pleasure having the visitors from Germany in SA. @zane, are a pain.

  • Kurt - 2010-06-29 15:07

    I thought they were scared to come to SA. I went to watch the germany VS england match and did NOT see a single supporter from both teams wearing a bullet proof vest. Some just wanted to make money I see... preying on people's fears

  • ronza - 2010-06-29 15:26

    are they wearing their bullet proof vest?that wat they were planning,i wish Argentina humiliate them....

  • HP - 2010-06-29 16:23

    I think it is a good idea to wear those bullet proof vest, so Argentina has no chance. Go Germany

  • bafana - 2010-06-29 17:02

    I live in Germany and disgustingly many were afraid to come to SA because of the negative publicity. (I believe similar attitudes arose in Britain). It is great to have the feedback, that the SWC is a huge success. The criminal activity always increases over world cups world wide. Unfortunately we (SA) receive more focus from the press because of the intensity of crimes comitted. As I hear it, those visitors in SA will be great ambassadors for the REAL South Africa. Things may not be perfect at home, but I tell you many locals are not happy here either. Let`s hope the team that plays the most attractive soccer wins. (By the way, Beckenbauer doesn`t care a hoot about what he says, though the press soaks it up!!)

  • TK - 2010-06-29 17:03

    Just to clear up one thing - it was not Beckenbauer who said the negative things, it was Uli Hoeness, the Bayern Munich Club boss. Please get your facts straight! The fact is that Beckenbauer has supported the SA bid since the beginning and publicly rebuked Hoeness for his comments. Also Beckenbauer has been in SA since the start of the tournament and Germany is one of the sides which has displayed an extremely positive attitude towards the tournament here. We should hope that Germany go through to the final because many Germans have the money to come at the the last minute and support their team and that means money for SA! As to the match on Saturday, if Germany can close down Messi and Tevez, Argentina is stuffed because there is not much besides those two.

  • lee - 2010-06-29 21:50

    the germans cant afford to travel,they too busy bailing out greece.

  • peter - 2010-06-30 09:39

    The press always like to use bad news for their own benefit. Look @ the UK tabloid guy - glad he is in prison...! As far as Germany goes I hope they get through, and hope more supporters make it over as 10,000 is not a takes at least 3 times that to have a good showing in the stadium alone. Come on Germany, book your tickets!

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