Cape Town Air Access has welcomed SAA’s direct, non-stop flights connecting the Mother City with São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) in Brazil.
The introduction of this new route marks a momentous occasion as the airline returns to Cape Town with its inaugural intercontinental flight after an 11-year hiatus.
Sao Paulo was identified as the biggest unserved market, with the fastest growth for Cape Town and the Western Cape in 2019, prior to the onset of the pandemic.
In 2019, 43,000 two-way passengers were recorded to have travelled between the two regions, with passenger growth equating to an impressive 26% average growth each year between 2015 and 2019.
The collaborative efforts between the Cape Town Air Access team and São Paulo’s GRU airport team have been instrumental in bringing this route to fruition, with both cities recognising the immense potential and impact it holds.
As result, on October 31, 2023, the airline will fly twice a week between Cape Town and São Paulo.
“Beyond strengthening the economic and cultural ties between South Africa and Brazil, the introduction of this direct route acts as a catalyst for exponential growth in tourism and business opportunities,” Cape Town Air Access initiative spokesperson, Wrenelle Stander said.
“With a direct flight time of up to eight hours, this route's implementation will significantly reduce current travel duration by over 50%, providing an efficient travel option for passengers,” she said.
Stander further said that the direct connection has been a work in progress for the Cape Town Air Access team for five years now, and they are thrilled to see these efforts finally come to fruition.
“A direct, non-stop connection will significantly boost the recovery of Latin American traffic to Cape Town, which stood at only 23% in 2022 compared to 2019 passenger volumes.
“Current trade relations between Cape Town and Brazil have already shown immense promise, with Cape Town exports to the country reaching over R490,000,000 in 2022,” Stander added.
The regional general manager of Cape Town International Airport, Mark Maclean, also commented on the new route, saying, "We are thrilled to welcome the new direct route between Cape Town and São Paulo, which holds great potential for both passenger and cargo traffic“.
Meanwhile, Western Cape MEC of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger said they are delighted that a new direct flight service between Cape Town and São Paulo has been launched.
“The benefits of the new route will help strengthen the economic ties between the Western Cape and Brazil and also open up immense opportunities for enhanced trade, tourism, and investment between our two regions,” Wenger said.