DURBAN — SA Express last week officially inaugurated its Durban-Harare service after having successfully launched the route in October last year.
Tourism Update reports that SAX aims to increase trade and tourism between SA and Zimbabwe as well as position Durban as an important hub in the Sadc region. The airline even unveiled a brand new livery for the aircraft deployed on the route, depicting Durban’s skyline.
Inati Ntshanga, chief executive officer of SA Express, says the Harare route from Durban has proved to be a great success and is currently operating at over 70% occupancy. The direct flights operate three times a week using a 50-seat wide-body CRJ 200.
They are hoping to increase the frequency to four times a week.
Zimbabwe was an important and strategic market for SA, said Mike Mabuyakhulu, Durban MEC for Tourism at the inauguration of the route.
He added that the route will give KZN a competitive edge, saying that other airlines flying into KZN, such as Emirates, would benefit from the route.
Public Enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba said the South African government wholeheartedly supported the decision by SAX to deploy aviation assets between Durban and Harare.
He said the government would support any further expansion by SAX from Durban into the region in the interests of economic growth for the country and the region.
“The future of SA is intrinsically linked with the Sadc,” he said.