The company panning to increase its flights to Johannesburg up to 5 weekly because of high demand with all the flights almost full, Etihad Airways officials said.Johannesburg joins Cairo as the airline's second destination on the African continent, highlighting Etihad's commitment to take advantage of the expanding business, holiday, and cargo traffic to and from Africa. The new service will provide the only non-stop link between Southern Africa's commercial capital and the capital of the United Arab Emirates, allowing for convenient connections to Etihad destinations within and beyond the Middle East. According to Nick Howarth, Etihad's Head of Corporate Planning and Strategy, the company realized that Eastern and Asian markets have demonstrated strong demand for a international airline that can take them into the South African market for business and leisure. "Etihad Airways is determined to challenge the traditional ways of the aviation industry and take a fresh look at how best we can serve our valued guests, as well as our cargo business customers," added Howarth.
"South Africa enjoys a strong and growing economic relationship with the UAE, and we applaud Etihad Airways' prudent decision to begin passenger and cargo flights to Johannesburg, one of our largest cities and centre of our commercial enterprise. But we also welcome the region's growing base of holiday makers. The total number of business and holiday travelers who spend a minimum of 48 hours in the UAE has far surpassed the 40,000 persons mark annually," said H.E. Dikang Moopeloa, South African Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.The South African Ambassador added that the announcement of an additional premium air carrier serving the South Africa - UAE route is particularly good news for more than 5,000 economically active South African nationals currently living in the UAE. Etihad Airways, a company committed to profitability across all lines of its business operations, has identified several key reasons behind its decision to launch the twice-weekly, direct flights to Johannesburg, chief among them being the economic upturn South Africa has seen over the last several years.
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