February 2, 2012

SAA’s soaring dragon takes to the skies

What better way to celebrate SAA's first flight to Beijing than with a flying dragon? SAA launched its first non-stop route between Johannesburg and Beijing on Wednesday 01 February, with an SAA Airbus A340-600 specially branded in honour of the Chinese Year of the Dragon.

This is the first direct route between Johannesburg and the Chinese capital and cuts the travelling time from 20 hours to just under 15. SAA will operate the route 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in both directions) with an A340 aircraft.

China has been South Africa's biggest trading partner for many years and the direct flying route is expected to improve tourism and trade between Africa and Asia even futher.

"Both business and leisure travellers are our customers, but business traffic dominates, given China's growing economic presence in Africa," said Siza Mzimela, CEO of SAA.

He added that the "price of the flights will be competitive, compared with current flights with stopovers in Hong Kong, Singapore or Dubai."