British Airways launches new route from London to Durban

The fares, by necessity, have been pitched to attract travellers who might otherwise fly via Johannesburg. The economy class return launch fare – which runs from October 30 to November 4 – is R7,740, after which it will be R8,762, subject to certain conditions. A return fare in Club World, the airline’s business class, is R33,740.

British Airways’ Paolo De Renzis says the world is changing with increased competition putting pressure on notoriously thin airline margins. That has been partially mitigated by the arrival of much more efficient aircraft which means carriers may be able to make money on routes that were previously unprofitable.

De Renzis noted that British Airways launched the world’s first long-haul commercial passenger jet service when it began flying Comet airliners from London to Johannesburg in 1952, a flight that had at least four stops and took more than a full day.

With the 787 covering the the nearly 100,00km between Durban and London in around 11 hours, De Renzis noted that the new flight is “a great step forward”.

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