British Airways’ South Africa subsidiary, Comair, has this week re-launched flights between Johannesburg and Maputo, the capital of neighbouring Mozambique.
The airline had withdrawn the service in January 2012 citing low demand and high taxes but, with the strength of the Mozambique economy, has decided to try again. The new service will operate daily with a double daily service on both Tuesday & Saturday that has been timed to provide easy connections for passengers for travellers arriving from London. The route will be operated by 737 with a choice of either economy or business class.
Commenting on the new service, Shaun Pozyn from British Airways had this to say: “We are excited to commence with this new route to Maputo as it allows us to grow our footprint in Africa.”
Johannesburg is British Airways single most important route in Africa with some 15 flights a week from Heathrow. The airline had operated a double daily service but recently announced that the additional thrice weekly ‘seasonal’ service would continue throughout the year. British Airways operates a combination of 747 & 777 aircraft between Heathrow & Johannesburg and, with slots so hard to come by at its London base, we predict that Johannesburg will be one of the beneficiaries of British Airways new A380.
By operating the A380 to Johannesburg (replacing the 747), the combined capacity of a daily A380 / 777 service would be similar to that of the current 15 flights a week and would free up 3 valuable slots at Heathrow. The appeal of the A380 (including the airline’s brand new World Traveller & World Traveller Plus cabins) would also give British Airways a significant competitive advantage over Virgin Atlantic & South African Airways, the only other airlines to offer direct flights between London & Johannesburg.