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SAA increases flights to Nigeria

12 April 2013, 08:21

Abuja - Africa's largest air carrier, South African Airways (SAA) says it has tripled its flight links between Lagos and Johannesburg following huge volumes of business between Nigeria and South Africa, an official told CAJ News.

Prior to the latest development, SAA used to have two flights per week flying between the Murtalla Muhammad International Airport in Lagos and South Africa's Oliver R. Tambo International Airport.

Responding to questions from CAJ News, South African Airways Regional General Manager for Africa and Middle East,  Aaron Munetsi, said his company's carrier fleet for Nigeria had since grown from two flights a week to seven per week

"SAA operates daily flights between Johannesburg’s O.R.Tambo International Airport and the Murtalla Muhammad International Airport in Lagos.

"The operation has grown impressively as demand has increased," said Munetsi.

He said the SAA carrier, which is now dominating the Nigeria route, sought to remain a leading airline in Africa after they warded off business challenges from rival Arik Air.

Munetsi said for SAA to remain the leading airline of choice in Africa, it has to achieve its objective of serving as many destinations with as many frequencies as possible.

"When demand responds to our product offering we make sure that we are positioned to serve our customers," Munetsi said.

When asked what contributed to this huge influx movement of people between Nigeria and South Africa, Munetsi said the two countries are experiencing a business boom.

"The traffic movement between Nigeria and South Africa has been exceptional. As the economic ties between the two countries grow, we witness a growth in the numbers of visits by both countries to each other.

Munetsi said SAA operated on 26 destinations in 23 African countries saying each destination had a positive contribution to the SAA's business.

He said most routes that the SAA carrier flies to were significantly contributing to its growth and expansion.

"There is not one route that can be singled out as not performing because we look at the business holistically.

"Banish the thought that any route depends on the nationals of that particular country alone to make the flights profitable. We are a network carrier and that is what drives our business," Munetsi argued.

Turning to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region where SAA originates, Munetsi said the airline was a dominating factor, however pointing out there was still ambition to continue growing.


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