DURBAN– People in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province will no longer have to travel from Durban to Johannesburg to catch a flight to Britain thanks to the introduction of a new direct flight between Durban’s King Shaka International Airport and London’s Heathrow Airport in October.

The new direct airline service between the two cities will commence on Oct 29 with three direct flights a week. Approximately 10,000 passengers, who currently fly between Durban and London via Johannesburg, will now fly directly to Britain, drastically reducing travel times and costs.

The joint announcement was made here Tuesday by the KZN Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, and British Airways as the three-day 2018 African Tourism Indaba began at Durban’s International Conference Centre.

As of tomorrow, the public can book their flight between London and Durban. The investment and trade opportunities presented by this direct flight between Durban and London will undoubtedly add huge value to our economy, Zikalala said.

The introduction of the British Airways flight augured well for KwaZulu-Natal’s Route Development Strategy, which aims to provide a mechanism for attracting and supporting new and direct air service routes for King Shaka International Airport, he added.

This new route adds to our growing number of international flights, amongst which can be counted flights connecting us to key world destinations such as the Gulf region, the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent, North Asia, Australia as well as Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul through the hub in Abu Dhabi, he said.

British Airways Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alex Cruz expressed confidence that the flight would lead to an improvement in the province’s tourism fortunes. It is a gateway to many nature reserves, parks and historic sites and has a thriving food, drink and arts scene, defining the city as a must visit for culture and adventure, Cruz said.