The Lufthansa Group has reaffirmed its commitment to growing key “focus routes” in East and Southern Africa, with tourism stakeholders in these regions eager to develop new source markets, especially in Europe, and show off COVID-19 safety standards.
Swiss-based leisure carrier, Edelweiss, has resumed its Cape Town-Zurich seasonal service (and launched two new iconic Africa tourist routes in recent weeks with flights to Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar). But, that’s not all the capacity Lufthansa Group airlines are bringing to the region this year. Sister brand, Eurowings Discover has also just operated its first flights from Frankfurt to Namibia, Mombasa, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro, and launched two weekly flights to Mauritius.
Eurowings Discover is the group’s newest leisure brand, operating short and long-haul flights from Frankfurt. The two weekly flights to Mauritius will increase to three from November, and Eurowings Discover is scheduled to operate five weekly flights to Windhoek in 2021. From the European summer of 2022, Windhoek will become a daily service and three weekly onward flights to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe will be added. Eurowings Discover replaces Lufthansa on the Windhoek route.
The Lufthansa Group has also strengthened its presence in Tanzania recently, now offering six weekly connections to/from Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar from Zurich or Frankfurt.
Flights from Zurich to Kilimanjaro with onward connections to Zanzibar are being operated by Edelweiss twice a week. Eurowings Discover’s flights from Frankfurt to Mombasa with onward tag flights to Zanzibar are scheduled to operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with the return flight the next day.
Kenya’s coast will benefit from more international traffic this peak season, with these two weekly direct flights operated by Eurowings Discover using an A330, on Thursdays and Sundays.
Tourism stakeholders in Kenya celebrated the development, which they said would help to open different markets, particularly Europe, and aid the destination’s COVID-19 recovery.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Najib Balala, commented: “With the emergence of new market trends and a new consumer segment, we have an opportunity to expand our markets and to reach the now younger and health-conscious clientele. We are using every opportunity to showcase our preparedness as a destination as well as improving our experiences and tourism destinations to remain competitive over other destinations. Europe is a market that offers us a different opportunity. With the vaccination of citizens, more people will be looking forward to travel and we want to be ready for this.”
In it for the long haul
Dr. André Schulz, Lufthansa Group General Manager Sales, Southern & East Africa, said East Africa remained a focus growth market, and that the group was “committed to increasing our footprint in the region” while also “optimistic for the future”. He has also reaffirmed the group’s commitment to the South African market.
Speaking at the Mombasa route launch, Schulz said: “We believe that for many months now, people all over the world have been yearning to travel and experience different cultures and destinations once again. Thanks to favourable market reactions and booking trends, [now] we are proudly able to expand our East African network offering and once again express our continued commitment not only to the region, but to the African continent as a whole.”
SA timetables have also been revised in line with demand. As of late August 2021, Lufthansa offers five weekly flights between Johannesburg and Frankfurt and three weekly flights between Cape Town and Frankfurt. Services between Zurich and Johannesburg operated by SWISS increased to five weekly flights from September 1.
Agents can refer to their GDS screens for latest schedule updates and confirm latest entry requirements on the Lufthansa website: https://www.lufthansa.com/za/en/travelling-and-corona#entry-regulations