South African Tourism welcomes the return of Italian airline Alitalia to OR Tambo International Airport after 17 years of absence.

The airline will now operate on the Rome-to-Johannesburg route four times a week with travellers having the choice of three travel classes: Magnifica Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy.  

A proponent of collaborations and partnerships, South African Tourism believes that this new route will aid in achieving its strategic “5 in 5” objective to attract five million more leisure and business travelers to South Africa by 2021.

“This new route will help us achieve our growth targets which ultimately creates more jobs in this country. I congratulate the partners behind this wonderful achievement for their success and bringing a truly global airline like Alitalia to South Africa,” said Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom.

Chief Operations Officer, South African Tourism, Ms. Sthembiso Dlamini commented: “Accessibility, cost and ease of travel are important considerations for most international travelers. The introduction of this four-times-a-week service between Rome and Johannesburg has the potential airlift to meet South African Tourism’s objective and increase the number of Italians who come to South Africa every year significantly.”

Last year South Africa saw a 7.6% increase in the number of tourists coming from Europe with over 61 000 of those being from Italy.

“The new route energises and injects extra impetus into our marketing efforts in the Southern Europe region. This is an opportunity which we are ready to embrace, giving more Italian tourists an experience they will never for forget. We are ready to welcome many Italians and to share with them our unique wildlife, incredible scenery, welcoming people, delicious food and wine, cosmopolitan cities and unspoiled wildernesses to life.”

“The more tourists we welcome to our incredible country; the more fuel we can add to power up the inclusive economic growth that will see all South Africans share in our nation’s prosperity. Re a le amogela, Alitalia – it is a pleasure to revive the partnership we once had, and South African Tourism looks forward to many conversations and collaborations with you,” concluded Dlamini.

Issued by FCB on behalf of South African Tourism