RwandAir is the latest airline to announce plans to launch flights to Durban in the near future.
The airline, which expects to take delivery of its first wide-body aircraft – an A330-220 – by September, plans to offer connections via Kigali to Mumbai. “It is anticipated that the A330s will service our Mumbai route, which will be launched later this year. Due to the demand and historical links between the sub-continent and KwaZulu Natal – more specifically Durban and the surroundings – we are exploring the possibility of a scheduled flight departing from Durban. This is still in negotiations and therefore we do not have a definite date yet,” Thembela Dladla, RwandAir Country Manager for South Africa, told Tourism Update. By December 2016, the airline will take delivery of a second Airbus, the A330-300.
RwandAir joins Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways, which have all recently launched new routes to KwaZulu Natal.
During high season, travel agents in Durban have been battling to find available seats for their clients to Mumbai, a destination that is in high demand with Durbanites, says Dinesh Naidoo, Group Operations Director of Serendipity Worldwide Group. He told Tourism Update that currently the Emirates flights to India via Dubai are very successful, as the airline connects to several destinations in India. However, a new route via Kigali would undoubtedly be successful when it launches, especially if the airline offers competitive fares, he says.