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South Africa is getting a new budget airline

South Africa is getting a new airline that will provide low-cost flights between Cape Town and London in the United Kingdom (UK).

The airline, Norse Atlantic Airways, is launching a new direct route between Cape Town International Airport and London Gatwick Airport on 28 October 2024, which will run three days per week.

Easier travel to South Africa’s most popular overseas destination

The UK is Cape Town’s most popular destination for international travelers, following an incredible 54% increase in two-way passenger traffic in 2023, according to Moneyweb.

This surge in demand has prompted Cape Town Air Access to partner with Norse Atlantic Airways (NAA) to introduce a new direct flight to London, bringing the number of flights between the Mother City and the UK to 27 per week during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer period.

The additional slots are expected to stimulate tourism to both nations with cheaper flights that will be particularly appealing to cash-strapped South Africans earning in rands.

For those who may not be aware, NAA is a relatively new airline that was founded in Norway in 2021 with the stated goal of providing cheaper long-haul flights to popular destinations around the world.

Cape Town is the first African city to be included in the company’s list of destinations, which is currently serviced by a fleet of 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

The airline’s maiden flight took place on 14 June 2022 between Oslo and New York, and the service also provides flights to Athens, Bangkok, Berlin, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando,  Paris, and Rome.

The new Cape Town to Gatwick route will run three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, with outbound flights to the UK leaving at 11h45 with an estimated time of arrival of 21h30 the same day.

Inbound flights from England will depart at 20h00 and arrive in South Africa at 09h30 local time the next morning.

The cheapest economy return flight starts at around £499, which equates to about R11,864 as of the time of writing.

As a point of reference, an economy class direct return flight booked for the same day on 28 October with British Airways costs a minimum of R15,683.

The cost-savings of North Atlantic are reflected in its reduced in-flight service, which can be very spartan depending on the ticket selected.

NAA offers three ticket classes for both Economy and Premium called Light, Classic, and Flextra, which determine your baggage allowance, boarding group, and meal service.

Economy Light only affords one small bag and its passengers are the last to board, while Classic permits one standard checked luggage, a carry-on bag, general boarding, and one meal service.

Flextra then allows travellers to select their seats, refund their tickets, and gain access to priority boarding.

This format is largely the same for the Premium seats though all three ticket groups include two meal services and priority boarding.

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