New Cape Town direct flight means R43m over 1st 5 months | Fin24
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New Cape Town direct flight means R43m over 1st 5 months

Nov 08 2017 18:09
Carin Smith

Cape Town - Eurowings, part of the Lufthansa Group, undertook its first direct flight between Cologne and Cape Town earlier this week.

There will be a flight from Cologne on Sundays, returning from Cape Town on Mondays. The new route will be serviced by an Airbus A330-300.
Dr André Schulz, general manager of Lufthansa for Southern Africa, told Fin24 that Eurowings can be described a premium low-cost brand. This means it only offers premium economy and economy seats.

"With this brand we are targeting more price sensitive customers, including people who have not travelled by air before," explained Schulz.

"Personalisation is the future of the airline industry and Eurowings is very advanced from a tech point of view. That is one of its differentiations."

Eurowings - aimed mainly at the leisure market - is currently the fastest growing airline in Europe and will also be open to expanding its Cape Town operations further in future.

"Cape Town is becoming more and more popular as a tourist as well as business destination. Therefore, Lufthansa's attention is also increasingly on the city," said Schulz.

According to Wesgro, Cape Town and the Western Cape's official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency, it is estimated that the direct tourism spend in the Western Cape economy over the first five months of the Eurowings operation, will be R43m.

This new route was established with the help of Cape Town Air Access, a partnership between Wesgro, the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape government, Airports Company SA (Acsa), Cape Town Tourism and SA Tourism.

Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro said the Eurowings lost-cost model will increase the ease with which leisure and business travellers can visit Cape Town and the Western Cape.

Schulz described the partnership with Wesgro as "fantastic".

He said Cologne is situated in the most densely populated areas of Germany. This leads to travellers from a number of surrounding cities - including from across the nearby Dutch border - having easy access to flights from there.

Matthias Burkard, media spokesperson of Eurowings, told Fin24 that Cologne and nearby Düsseldorf have some of the highest catchment concentrations.

According to Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, the increase in direct flights to Cape Town is a vote of confidence in the city. At the same time Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde says the new flight illustrates the economic benefits of air access.

“This is why we have prioritised air access through our Project Khulisa growth strategy. We’ve seen growth of 27% in international air arrivals in the past year," said Winde.

"Increased visitors to our region mean new economic opportunities for local entrepreneurs. More than 20 000 jobs have been added to the tourism economy since 2014, and improved air access helped drive this growth.”

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