South African Airways (SAA), is set to launch direct flights between Johannesburg (JNB) and Guangzhou (CAN), China from 18 September 2019, giving customers access to the heart of China’s export led manufacturing industries.
The three new flights per week to Guangzhou will complement SAA’s current four times weekly operations to Hong Kong – both routes utilising SAA’s A340-300 aircraft.
SAA says the Guangzhou route will cater for a spectrum of travellers between Johannesburg and China including business and corporate travellers and will be of special interest to traders. Cargo operations will complement the viability of this route considering that high value cargo is sourced from Guangzhou, it adds.
SAA will be the only carrier operating a direct service between Johannesburg and Guangzhou, with flight time of approximately 13 hours and 40 minutes, providing the shortest travel time on a nonstop basis between the two points.
“The decision to launch this direct service between Johannesburg and Guangzhou means we remain on track in executing our strategy to transform SAA into a fit for the future airline that will operate both efficiently and competitively,” says SAA CEO, Vuyani Jarana.
“Adding a direct service to mainland China, combined with our current popular flights to Hong Kong provides SAA with immense growth opportunities to and from mainland China. It also gives our traders access to the centre of Chinese manufacturing,” says Jarana.
The province of Guangdong is the centre of China’s export led manufacturing industries and described as ‘the world’s manufacturing hub’. Formal and informal traders source the majority of goods purchased in Sub-Saharan Africa from the province, due to Africa’s poor manufacturing capacity.
“We are confident that the introduction of this route is based on sound commercial considerations and will not only benefit SAA but South Africa as a whole as China is the largest source market in Asia. It is also South Africa’s largest trading partner in the world,” adds Jarana.