Durban - Direct flights between China’s booming economic powerhouse of the Guangdong Province and Durban’s King Shaka International Airport are on the cards.
This was revealed on the sidelines of the China (Guangdong)-South African Economic and Trade Co-operation Conference at the Durban ICC, when the governor of Guangdong Province, Zhu Xiaodan, headed a high-powered delegation to KwaZulu-Natal including 141 Chinese entrepreneurs, all keen to do business in the region.
Earlier, the KwaZulu-Natal leader of government business, Sihle Zikalala, also the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, called on the representatives of Guangdong Province to consider starting a route between the Chinese province and King Shaka International Airport.
The growth of King Shaka International Airport had attracted several new airlines last year, including Qatar Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airways as well as ProFlight Zambia, he said “and the hope, and the call, and appeal to Quangdong is to also consider starting a route”, he said, adding that such a development would help investment.
Asked about this later, Governor Xiaodan said a direct flight to Johannesburg was first “and then the next step” would be King Shaka International Airport.
Contracts and memorandums of understanding (MOU) between Guangdong businesses and KwaZulu-Natal enterprises, worth R2.97-billion were signed at the conference, attended by more than 400 local businesses, also eager to do deals with Chinese delegates.
The conference follows the strengthening of economic and trade co-operation between China and South Africa and the two regions, as well as the signing of an MOU between Guangdong-KZN on Monday.